Power Rankings XII

Garthwaite is moving up fast

The Power Rankings are in, and there is movement. This week pitchers could't get wins, hitters couldn't be stopped, and closers were making their marks. Last week's #1, Jeff Cook, was hot again, but fellow JetHawk AJ Shappi won his fourth straight, South Bend's defensive wizard Alberto Gonzalez brought his bat to the park, and the entire Missoula Osprey lineup was crushing. The end result, movement up, down, and all around this week's PR.

NoteStats are current through Saturday August 20th, 2005.  This list is not a ranking of the 30 top prospects, but instead of which 30 prospects are having the best weeks, and making the most of their opportunities.  Players with a significant amount of Major League Service time are usually not eligible, though in certain situations (change of position, change of role) exceptions may be made.  Agree?  Disagree?  Bored?  Email questions, comments, and concerns to FutureBacks@cox.net.

Rank Name Team Comment Last Week
1 Jeff Cook Lan Holds at #1 thanks to a 13 game hit streak that got snapped Thursday and an all around productive month.  This week was 8-25 with four doubles, four runs scored, a homer and seven RBI.  Has started showing more patience as well, walking five times against only three strikeouts. 1
2 Chris Carter Tenn Loving the Southern League, the first baseman goes 7-20 with four runs, three homers, and nine RBI.  Inexplicably hitting .342 at Double-A with 13 walks against only seven strikeouts in 80 at bats, after hitting .296 with 46 walks against 66 strikeouts in 412 at bats in Hi-A 3
3 Dustin Nippert Tenn Didn't get the win in his only start this week, but deserved one.  Pitched 6.2 innings and gave up only four hits and one earned, continuing an exceptional year, and especially an exceptional August, which finds him at 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA and opponents hitting just .190.  The right hander has no trouble with lefties, who are hitting just .169 off him this season 4
4 Andy Green Tuc An off week that sees him reaching base 12 times in 26 at bats, if we could all have such good 'off' weeks.  Seven runs scored, two homers (in the same game) and five RBI, hitting out of the #3 spot more with Conor Jackson gone, and responding, but still using the speed, snagged his ninth stolen base of the season this week. 2
5 Matt Elliott SB No longer a closer in training, he's now just a real good closer.  Three appearances, three saves in 3.1 innings pitched.  Allows just two hits and his customary zero runs.  In 50 innings this year opponents are hitting just .192 off him and don't even think about going yard, he's allowed just one homer all season. 8
6 Carlos Gonzales SB Stays right where he is despite hitting just .200 on the week (5-25) because he remains productive scoring five times and driving in six runs.  A double, triple, and homer keep his all around ability in the spotlight. 6
7 Jay Garthwaite Lan The Lancaster outfield is down right scary with this guy and Jeff Cook.  This week Garthwaite rocking at an 11-28 clip, scoring five, driving in eight, and crushing three homers.  Slumped in July (.213), but nobody remembers since he's come back in August to hit .367 with an insane 30 RBI (after driving in 57 in the first four months combined). 16
8 A. J. Shappi Lan Back in the Top 10 after winning his fourth straight decision in Hi-A, despite allowing seven earned in six innings.  Pitching to his park, he keeps the walks down (just two) and lets his defense work for him (73% of the ball put in play against him are on the ground). 11
9 Carlos Quentin Tuc Third straight week at #9, a testament to his consistency, we can't move him up or down.  Ripping at a .400 clip this week (8-20) with two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored, and clutch as you could ask for, hitting .338 with runners in scoring position. 9
10 Stephen Drew Tenn A tough week coming back from the quad injury, Drew stays in the Top 10, barely, because of the injury.  Just 3-15 with two runs and a RBI, four walks and four Ks, but testing the leg, swiping one of the two bases he went for. 7
11 Cesar Nicolas SB A drop for the power hitting first baseman out of Vandy, who goes 4-16 with four runs scored on a double and a homer.  Just two RBI, but patience is a virtue, he drew four walk this week against only two Ks, and is hitting .392 in August. 5
12 Casey Daigle Tenn Two appearances, earned the win in one, and despite allowing only two hits, one came across.  The opponents batting average (over .300 on the season) is starting to catch up with him. 10
13 Dan Uggla Tenn Eight hits in 26 at bats last week, including a double and a homer, and a very solid five RBI, but the strikeouts (93 in 450 at bats this year) are still high, five more were tacked on this week. 12
14 Koley Kolberg SB Welcome to the passing lane, Kolberg rocked up six spots this week despite not getting the win in his only start.  Wasn't his fault, he game the Silverhawks seven strong innings, allowing seven hits and only one earned run, on a solo homer.  Zero walks and seven strikeouts drive the point home, this kid is on fire...at home.  More than a four run difference in ERA home to away (2.07/6.46), and yet he's allowed just two earned in his last 15 innings pitched. 20
15 Enrique Gonzalez Tenn Another stud performance without the 'W' to show for it, Gonzalez Ks nine in 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing only one run.  He's allowed three earned or less in his last seven starts, with a 2.33 ERA in August, yet is just 0-1 in the month. 19
16 Edgar Varela Lan Hitting .412 in August, so the 6-16 week can be forgiven, especially since he still drove in five and scored twice, but the power numbers will start to get questioned since he's a corner infielder and has only eight homes in 346 at bats this season, and none in August. 15
17 Tony Pena Tenn Stays right where he was for the third straight week, because once again, his team can't score him any runs.  Six innings pitched, six hits, two earned.  Solid, but a little scary with the four walks, the most he's given up since back when he was mired in the 0-9 streak he started the season with (June 5th), opponents are hitting .320 off him in August, after a July that saw him dominate hitters to the tune of .241. 17
18 Matt Chico Lan Chico stalls at #18 after repeated moving up, and guess what, his team couldn't get him a win either.  A tough outing, five innings, seven hits, four earned and two homers allowed, but the walks stayed down (two) and the Ks stayed up (seven).  He's durable, having gone at least five innings in all 16 starts since moving down to Lancaster, and he's had at least five strikeouts in his last nine starts, though his homers are a little high (10 in 91.2 innings), that has to be a little of the Cal League creeping in. 18
19 Matt Wilkinson Lan Another closer that loves the role, Wilkinson went 2.1 innings in three appearances and got saves in each one.  He now has 10 saves in his last 14 appearances, despite allowing opponents a .327 average, and lefties have crushed him, hitting .426.  Still, he manages to get all the outs he needs. 22
20 Alberto Gonzalez SB Just spraying the ball all over the field, Gonzalez went 11-29 this week, scored five times, had a pair of doubles, a triple, and three RBI, despite not getting many chances, he converts when he has them, hitting .340 with RISP and two out.  Slick fielding and a developing stick, he's the forgotten man in the Sergio Santos/Justin Upton/Stephen Drew shortstop debate. 24
21 Eduardo Baeza Miss Our highest debut comes from a starter moving into a relief role in the Rookie Level Pioneer League.  In two appearances this week he worked four innings, allowing four hits and no earned runs, while walking two and striking out seven.  He picked up a win in one of those starts, and has held opponents to a stellar .197 average, with a 1.50 ERA on the year.  He's really come around however this month.  He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last nine outings, and has kept opponents to a miniscule .147 average this month.  A comer, with a comer's stats. NR
22 Steve Garrabrants Lan Moves up because he doesn't care where he hits, he still drives in runs.  Working mostly from the lead off spot he drives in seven runs this week, after going 7-20 with two doubles and a triple.  Doesn't forget his job either, drawing three walks, striking out only once and scoring five times as well.  He may not get that many opportunities to drive them in, but he doesn't miss many, hitting .371 with RISP. 25
23 Josh Perrault SB Middle relievers have got to be big fans of roller coasters.  Perrault plummets 15 spots because one bad week just throws a monkey in all kinds of wrenches.  Three appearances, including another spot start, and perhaps the back and forth between rotation and bullpen is getting to him.  Allows six hits and four earned in 8.1 innings (four during the start), but still walks only two and Ks nine.  Gutty for going where they tell him, and this week probably won't hurt him in the organization's eyes, but the PR isn't so forgiving. 13
24 Jereme Milons SB Money runs a nine game hit steak and still drops a spot, this thing isn't fair.  Hits .250 (7-28) on the week, and suffers on the road, where he's hitting nearly 80 points worse than at home.  A triple and a homer help, but two walks against eight strikeouts hurt. 23
25 Kellen Raab SB Finally, a top of the rotation starter who actually earned a win this week.  Six innings, seven hits, four earned with one walks and six strikeouts, his was not the most dominating performance, but there's something to be said for pulling out a 'W' especially when you've gone at least five innings in 20 straight starts dating back to May 3rd.  This August he's 3-1 with a 3.81 ERA, and he's doing with control, walking only three while striking out 22. 27
26 Brian Barden Tuc Sidewinders manager Chip Hale loves the kid, and his bat is catching up with his incredible glove.  This week he goes 11-28 with four doubles, a homer, six runs scored and eight RBI.  This is a guy you want up there with runners on base, he'll drive them in (he's hitting .325 with runners on) and when that doesn't happen he moves them over.  One of the few #5 hitters in the PCL who will bunt a runner over with a smile on his face, earning him his first appearance on the PR. NR
27 Brandon Burgess Yak There was a nasty little trend growing where the #30 on the PR one week fell off the next, but Burgess put a stop to that with a quickness.  How are we going to bump a kid with scores eight runs, has a double and a pair of homers among his nine hits (26 at bats) this week, knocks in seven, and after back to back 3-5 days temporarily pushed his average over .400 on the season.  The answer?  We're not.  30
28 Augie Murillo SB The long season is visibly affecting the third baseman, who is hitting just .239 in August, and lefties are causing him fits, the right handed batter is hitting just .221 off them this year.  Does crank a homer, score six and drive in seven, but the week's average barely squeaks over .200 (6-29). 21
29 Miguel Montero Tenn Our biggest slide this week comes from a former #1 on the PR.  While Carter has dominated in Double-A, Montero has struggled.  This was actually one of his better weeks, and 5-16 isn't going to win all that many awards.  Three runs scored and four RBI keep him on, for now, but startling differences between Hi-A and Double-A are emerging, most notably, in Lancaster he had 26 walks and 52 Ks, a 1-2 ratio, in Tennessee that's nearly doubled, with seven walks and 26 Ks, in about a quarter of the at bats, even the batting average is down, and down big, from .349 (in LAN) to .250 (Tenn). 14
30 Dan Pohlman Miss We love catchers, and Pohlman was drafted as one, but his cannon arm is better suited for the other side of the battery, and the D'Backs look like geniuses for recognizing it.  Struggled early in the rotation, but now as the closer is comfortable, and making hitters uncomfortable.  Four appearances this week, one win and three saves.  In 4.1 innings he allowed five hits and zero earned, walking non and striking out three.  Opponents are hitting just .244 off him since moving to the pen, and his 2.74 ERA is getting better every time out, he's allowed just one earned in his last 15 trips to the bump. NR

On the Cusp:

David Doster (Tuc):  A scrappy middle infielder who was hitting .280 for the Cactus Pear Growers of the Triple-A Mexican League before the Sidewinders picked him up August 1st, he's looking at this as a chance to prove himself.  Doster goes 8-14 this with three runs scored and six RBI, running his average with the Sidewinders to .366.

Danny Richar (Lan):  The defense has started to settle down since he moved to second base, but the bat is heating up.  Second in the Cal League in slugging percentage this week with a Barry-like 1.059.  That'll happen when you have seven hits in 17 chances and five go for extra bases, including three solo home runs.  That's an emerging trend (eight of his 14 homers this year have come with the bases empty), but the trend the D'Backs like the most is patience.  This week he walked once without a strikeout, in August he's walked four times, and struck out the same, a huge improvement over the first four months, where he struck out 51 times against only 25 walks.

Jaen Centeno (Yak):  Goes 7-20 this week with four runs scored on four homers in four straight games.  Collects eight RBI and walks seven times, for a .542 on base percentage and a .882 slugging percentage.  Had six straight games with a RBI until that streak was snapped Friday.

THE MISSOULA OFFENSE:  Yeah, we're cheating here, but you tell me who we leave out.  Steve Mena, who hit .500 (13-26) with two doubles, six RBI, and eight runs scored; Rusty Ryal, who is working on a 13 game hit streak, was 13-28 this week with two doubles, three homers, six RBI (and had a seven game RBI streak snapped Saturday), and eight runs scored; Travis Tully who carries a six game hitting streak, was 10-23 with three doubles, five RBI and six runs scored, and is hitting .356 in August); or Will Crouch, who was 7-19 (with a six game streak of his own), had two doubles, a homer, five runs scored, six walks (which helped extend his streak to 22 straight games reaching base), and seven RBI; or Bryan Byrne who despite going only 4-22 this week scored six runs, had a double and two homers, drove in 9 RBI, and has more walks (35) than strikeouts (32) and has scored 27 runs (mostly in the #5 spot in the order) in 149 at bats.

Falling off:

Tough week for Mark Reynolds, the South Bend third baseman goes 6-25, but scores only twice and drives in only one, striking out five times without drawing a walk.  Since July 1st Reynolds has drawn only five walks, against 40 strikeouts, in 151 at bats.

Bill Murphy sat on the cusp for awhile, broke in finally, and now has fallen out of the PR after a tough start in Tucson.  He lasted just three innings, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs, most troubling though was the five walks, his first five walk game since June 30th.

Alex Frazier was hot, and while he isn't exactly cold now, the incredible power numbers he was putting up after his return to the JetHawks from the DL have subsided.  This week was a solid one, but 7-25 with three runs scored and four RBI, in combination with a .237/2/13 set in August (he was .292/9/19 in July) get him bumped, temporarily.

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