Note: Stats are current through Saturday August 27th, 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.
|1||Chris Carter||Tenn||The power numbers get Carter on top. This week he had only seven hits in 24 at bats, but three left the yard, he drove in six and scored eight times. The selectivity continues as well, four more walks against only two strikeouts. This August has been incredible to the tune of .312/7/19 and he's over .400 with runners in scoring position since joining the Smokies.||2|
|2||Jeff Cook||Lan||A .394 batting in August couldn't keep him in the top spot, even though of his 40 August hits 21 have gone for extra bases. This week he goes 7-24 with four doubles and a homer, but just three RBI. Renewed patience that comes with confidence, he walked five times this week without a strikeout.||1|
|3||Matt Elliott||SB||Arguably the best closer in the organization he made two appearances this week, 2.2 innings, just one hit, no runs and three strikeouts. Just two earned runs in his last 31 appearances (34.2 innings).||5|
|4||Dustin Nippert||Tenn||Another stellar start, six innings, four hits, no earned and a win. He's now won his last three decisions and allowed just three earned in his last five starts (35.1 innings).||3|
|5||Andy Green||Tuc||Hitting the ball well, but the production numbers are down just a bit. Goes 11-25 with three doubles and three walks, but scores just five time and has only one RBI. Perhaps the one facet he needs to work on is stealing bases. He certainly has the speed but is just 9-15 this season, though he's 3-4 this month. Green has now hit over .325 in every month of the season.||4|
|6||Carlos Gonzales||SB||Third straight week at #6, and what exactly does he have to do to move up? He was 11-23 this week with a double, two triples, a home run, five RBI and six runs scored. This month hitting .293 with 13 extra base hits.||6|
|7||Carlos Quentin||Tuc||The D'Backs top prospect at the beginning of the season, and making a late push to hit the top spot in the PR. Goes 7-18 with three doubles, two triples, four runs scored and seven RBI. Hitting .354 with RISP and continues to shock people in center field. Has not made an error in 252 total chances this season, nearly 100 of which are in center field.||9|
|8||Enrique Gonzalez||Tenn||Went through some struggles, but those are apparently behind him. Two starts this week, a 1-0 record. In the first he was nearly unhittable, going seven strong and allowing only two hits and a walk, no runs and six strikeouts. The second time around he took the no decision after allowing six hits and three runs (one earned) in six innings, again walking only one and K-ing four. He's allowed three earned or less in each of his last eight starts and carries a tiny 1.67 ERA in August, walking six and punching out 30 in 32.1 innings.||15|
|9||Koley Kolberg||SB||One start, six innings, three hits, no runs, six strikeouts. Just dominating the Midwest League, if not for an injury that had him miss the first half he'd almost certainly be up a level. He's allowed three earned in his last three starts (21 innings) and hitters aren't hitting, averaging just .225 against him. In fact, they aren't even touching the ball, he's got 104 strikeouts in 106 innings this season.||14|
|10||Jay Garthwaite||Lan||A tough week for Garthwaite, who goes just 5-24 with a double and a homer, but manages to drive in five anyway. Hitting .330 in August, with eight homers, after hitting eight combined in the three months prior, but the power output comes at a price, he's struck out 31 times in 112 at bats, drawing only one walk this month.||7|
|11||Matt Chico||Lan||Nobody wants to be moved down, but as Chico's confidence comes back, so do the impressive numbers. This week he goes seven innings of shutout ball, allowing only four hits and striking out eight without a walk. He's won his last six decisions and since moving to Lancaster hitters are batting only .235 off him.||18|
|12||Edgar Varela||Lan||Goes 6-17, and carries an eight game streak into next week, and while the homers still aren't coming, he's hitting the ball hard, picking up four doubles. No RBI this week, but his 15 in August are the most he's had of any month this year, and he's hitting everything, batting .391 in August. The lefty struggles against southpaws, hitting only .241, and will have to show more power to move up at the corners.||16|
|13||Casey Daigle||Tenn||Two appearances this week, one save in his two innings pitched, two more hits given up, which brings hitters back over .300 against him in the month of August. Impressed the D'Backs enough that he got an invite to the Arizona Fall League, where he'll get more work out of the pen, and more intensive instruction, possibly the biggest surprise in the D'Backs system this year.||12|
|14||A. J. Shappi||Lan||A tough week, as he goes 0-2 in two starts, but didn't deserve the loss in the first game, where he went 8.1 innings and allowed only six hits and two earned, while striking out seven, a high with the JetHawks this year. Lasted 5.2 in his second start, but allowed 12 hits, including two homers, which led to six earned. Allowed nine homers in his first six starts with the JetHawks, but just three in his last five in Lancaster.||8|
|15||Cesar Nicolas||SB||A short week in South Bend meant not that many chances for Silverhawk hitters, and Nicolas suffered for it. Just 2-16 this week, but still remained productive, driving in three and scoring six times, due in part to six walks. Has 20 homers this year in just 293 at bats, and is selective, drawing nearly as many walks (55) and strikeouts (56).||11|
|16||Matt Wilkinson||Lan||When we said earlier that Elliott was 'arguably' the best closer in the system this year, this is the guy we be arguing about. He's now picked up the save in each of his last nine outings, including two this week, when he pitched 2.1 innings without allowing a baserunner. Has yet to allow an earned run on the road with the JetHawks, and opponents are hitting just .229 off him in August.||19|
|17||Dan Uggla||Tenn||Under .200 for the week (5-28), but two of those five hits were for extras (a double and a homer, #20 on the year), but playing virtually everyday might be taking its toll, he's hitting just .238 in August, though his six homers are the most he's had in a single month.||13|
|18||Alberto Gonzalez||SB||'Slick fielding' is no longer the appropriate description for Gonzalez, though he is still slick fielding. He's riding a nine game hit streak, and was 7-20 this week with a double, triple, four runs scored and six RBI. He's hitting .340 in August and has been clutch all year, hitting .344 with RISP and two outs this season.||20|
|19||Tony Pena||Tenn||How does a guy who threw seven scoreless innings in a complete game drop? When he gave up four runs in the first inning of that eight inning complete game, and took the loss. Still, didn't walk a batter and struck out six, and being able to come back from the shaky start and pitch well is almost worth the loss in the scout's and coach's eyes.||17|
|20||Stephen Drew||Tenn||Welcome to Double-A Phenom. "He's not really struggling," Diamondbacks Interim GM Bob Miller told FutureBacks, "he's hitting the ball hard all the time, he's just in one of those stretches where he's hitting it right at guys." Still, the biggest drop in the PR this week belongs to the '04 first round pick, who was just 4-26 with two doubles and a homer. Did manage to drive in four runs, but the week causes his average to drop below .200 for the first time (we're guessing), since T-Ball. Needs some home cooking, he's hitting just .118 on the road, and .364 at home.||10|
|21||Daniel Pohlman||Miss||This is a kid who's played three positions in the last 14 months, has now established himself as a closer, and the PR is practically blowing him kisses we like him so much. Two appearances this week, 1.2 innings pitched, zero hits, zero walks, zero runs, four strikeouts. Since moving to the bullpen he's 1-0 with seven saves, a 0.63 ERA and a .250 average against, with 45 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.||30|
|22||Rusty Ryal||Miss||Last week we put the entire Missoula Offense 'On the Cusp' and the cream is rising this week. Ryal, a third baseman, just hits, and hits all the time. How's 16-29 with six doubles, seven RBI and 10 runs scored. Up here at the PR we call that 'production.' Hitting .378 in August, and must like that number, because he's hitting .378 with RISP as well.||OTC|
|23||Matt Green||Miss||Missoula...REPRESENT! Green calls himself a student of the game, and apparently the lessons and tutoring have gone well. After struggling he's put together three straight stellar starts and earned himself the second highest debut. This week wins his only start after allowing just five hits, and two earned in five innings, walking two and striking out nine. In his last three he's 2-0 with 14 hits and two earned in 16 innings. Seven walks seems a little high, 22 strikeouts seems incredibly high.||NR|
|24||Kellen Raab||SB||An emerging presence in the left handed starter category, he wins again after a five inning outing that featured a 'scattered' 10 hits, three earned runs and three Ks without a walk. In 144.2 innings this year Raab, who's not a power pitcher, has 131 strikeouts against only 34 walks.||25|
|25||Steve Garrabrants||Lan||A tough week, he goes just 5-19 with two walks, two doubles, a RBI and four runs scored. He's hit .300 or better every month this season, and continues that in August, hitting .316.||22|
|26||Brian Barden||Tuc||Stuck at #26 after a 7-25 week, but proving those that said he was simply a defensive specialist without the pop to play third base wrong. Two more homers this week, along with five more RBI, brings his August total to 24 RBI, easily his best month in that category.||26|
|27||Ryan Schreppel||Miss||One start, one win, 6.2 innings pitched, just two hits and one unearned run. Nine strikeouts help propel him onto the PR, as does his 2-1 record, and just six earned runs, in his last six starts.||NR|
|28||Eddie Baeza||Miss||Two appearances, an 0-1 record after allowing two earned on two hits and a walk in the first outing of the week. Still, his August ERA is 1.13 with an opponent's average of .154, his overall ERA is 1.78 he struck out seven of the 11 hitters he retired this week.||21|
|29||Josh Perrault||SB||Another middle reliever who suffered because of one bad outing, in Perrault's case a three hit, three earned run stint. Again, probably shouldn't be falling this far, since his specialty is still strong. A 2.10 ERA, a .226 average against, and most importantly, a .177 average against with RISP, when he's most needed.||23|
|30||Orlando Mercado||SB||Last week we talked about how we love catchers, the #30 spot shows that love again. Not that we need a bias for this guy, Mercado was 8-12 with two doubles, a homer, four RBI and five runs scored this week. Any time there's a number before the decimal point in the slugging percentage it's a good sign, Mercado's was 1.083 this week.||NR|
On the Cusp:
Danny Richar (Lan): Stays 'OTC' for a second week, despite hitting three more homers. Problem is those were three of his four hits this week, and 4-25 isn't getting you on the PR, even if the other hit was a double and you drove in seven. He has seven homers in August, after hitting just 10 the first three months of the season, but his .263 August batting average is the lowest in a month since May, when he was in a horrific slump.
Greg Smith (Miss): In his last start the hard throwing lefty was absolutely shelled, allowing 11 hits and 11 earned runs in just 3.2 innings pitched. You want mental toughness, you got it. Smith comes back this week with the best start of his pro career, going six innings, allowing just two hits, no runs and striking out eight. Take away that one bad outing and he carries a 2.74 ERA (it sits at 4.07 with the bad start) and the .224 average against becomes .197 without that bad one. Want more? How about 83 strikeouts in just 66.1 innings.
Phil Avlas (Lan): No one wants to be demoted, but like Chico, the bump down (along with a chance to heal) has kicked him right back on track. The PR like nice round numbers, so when we saw Avlas hitting .500 this week (9-18) we took notice, three runs scored and five doubles kept out attention, and a .403 batting average in August solidified him a spot 'On the Cusp.'
Miguel Montero received an invite to the Arizona Fall League, and the Diamondbacks would love for him to go, but his Winter Ball team might be standing in the way, and that coupled with not playing in the last week (an undisclosed injury) bump him off the list, meanwhile Augie Murillo was another who suffered from South Bend's short week, as well as a nagging injury, failing to get a hit in his eight at bats. Jereme Milons hit just .250 this week and despite scoring three and driving in two he took the bump because of his lack of 'clutch,' hitting just .235 with RISP and two outs, and after tearing the cover off the ball for a couple weeks in Yakima, outfielder Brandon Burgess had a down week, going just 5-24 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBI. Despite hitting .419 on the road he's bumped.