The FutureBacks Power Rankings v. 2.4

The FutureBacks Power Rankings v. 2.4

Lots of movement, both in the organization and in the Power Rankings this week, and the winners appear to be Tucson Sidewinders and young stars. Justin Upton, Greg Smith, and Tony Pena are on the rise, who's slipping, and who's coming? IN A FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT the FutureBacks Power Rankings are on.

Note:  Stats are current through Friday, May 12th, 2006.  This list is not a ranking of the 30 top prospects, but instead of the 30 hottest players in the organization, the ones 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, recent addition) exceptions may be made.  Agree?  Disagree?  Bored?  Email questions, comments, and concerns to FutureBacks@cox.net.

Rank Last Week Name Team Comment
1 1 Chris Rahl Lan This one was a no brainer.  For the second straight week Rahl earns the #1 spot on the FBPR.  He went 9-28 with three doubles, four runs, four RBI, and a stolen base.  He's hitting .397 at home, which is pretty much crazy, and he's starting to take more pitches, which he will need to do since he's walked only six times against 30 strikeouts this year.
2 4 Micah Owings Tenn Simply on fire, and arguably the best pitcher in the D'Backs organization this side of Brandon Webb.  Two starts, two wins, 14 innings, 10 hits, three runs, just three walks, and 16 strikeouts, 11 of which came in just six innings during his second start of the week.  He's 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a WHIP only 1.00 at home this season.
3 6 Danny Richar Tenn It wasn't exactly a great week even though he was 7-19 with three runs scored, because three of his hits (two doubles and a homer) came in one game.  For the second week in a row though he struck out more than he walked (zero walks against four K's), and though he's been fantastic in Tennessee leading off, he's still no prototypical, stealing only two bases this season, but the most important stat, on base percentage, is an incredible .476 in the #1 slot.
4 15 Greg Smith Lan He's been coming on strong, but any time you do a Micah Owings impression you'll move up the list fast.  This week Smith had one start, one win, seven innings of seven hit, two earned ball, walking three and striking out five.  Still, he's won his last three starts, he's got a .224 average against, and though he did allow two runs, they broke a streak of 24.2 innings without an earned run.
5 14 Tony Pena Tenn Two appearances, two innings pitched, just one hit, zero earned.  He's allowed only one earned in his last 10 games (14 innings), and he's starting to disprove the theory that he's not cut out for the ninth inning, earning two saves this week.
6 18 Chris Carter Tuc A breakout week for the big lefty.  Carter goes 11-22 with a double, three homers, five RBI and five runs.  The fives kept coming with five walks, pushing his OBP towards .700.  In April strike zone recognition was a problem (just six walks against 16 Ks) but has started to turn around, as he struck out only twice this week against those five walks.
7 2 Stephen Drew Tuc Trade Drew!  That's a joke by the way.  Finally Drew has a less than incredible week, and his ranking shows it, as the shortstop goes just 3-24 with four walks, but remains productive, scoring and driving in three runs.  Still, is it possible pitchers are figuring him out?  He's hitting only .200 through 11 games in May.
8 9 Carlos Quentin Tuc Though Drew might have been productive in his 'down' week, Quentin was even better.  Though he was just 4-24 with only one extra base hit and one RBI, he scored six times, in large part due to his four walks this week.  Though the reports are that his recent time in center field has been solid, it might be affecting him at the plate, as Quentin is hitting just .100 when manning the middle of the outfield.
9 3 Matt Chico Lan The lefty has been up and down throughout his career, but this was his first truly 'down' week this season.  He lasted just 3.1 innings in his only start of the week, allowing seven hits and five earned runs.  The bright spot is that he continued to throw strikes, not walking a single hitter this week, the dark side is that Chico allowed five earned runs total in his first five starts (29.1 innings) and has allowed 10 in his last two starts (eight innings).
10 16 Scott Hairston Tuc Hairston started strong, and then fell off the list.  He came back and after this week he appears to be here to stay (though rumors that he is once again on the trade block might remove him for good), this week he was 8-26 and flexed his power stroke, notching three doubles and a pair of homers that led to seven RBI.  AL teams will be interested to know that he's hitting .529 as a DH.
11 8 Mike Schultz Tuc Last week he stuck at #8 because of his promotion, this week he hangs on after settling into the Tucson bullpen rotation.  In three appearances (2.1 innings) he allowed one run, but just one hit, and two walks (all in the same game).
12 10 Jeff Bajenaru Tuc Three appearances, 2.2 innings, four hits and five runs (three earned) aren't incredible numbers, but he did earn a save and virtually all his 'bad' numbers came in one appearance Friday (the three earned, the four hits, and two wild pitches).
13 23 Justin Upton SB This just in...Justin Upton is really good, and he's showing it with numbers in South Bend.  He's carrying a nine game hit streak, going 6-22 with a double, three runs scored, four RBI and a stolen base, and he continues to show his clutch instincts, hitting .304 with RISP.
14 5 Mark Reynolds Lan Though he was 5-15 this week with two doubles and three runs scored, in order to earn an everyday spot back Reynolds will have to hit for power, and he failed to tally a dinger this week, driving in only one run.  Still, the versatility is enviable, has he's hit in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th in the order, and played all four infield spots and left field.
15 19 Enrique Gonzalez Tuc The dark horse for 'Next Starter to Get the Call' Enrique Gonzalez took another step toward that goal with a 7.1 inning, four hit, one earned run outing that earned him a win.  His five strikeouts were a season high, and while opponents were hitting .320 off him in April, they are hitting just .220 in May.
16 21 Forrest Cory SB Two appearances, three innings pitched, zero hits, one walk, and one save.  Lefties are hitting just .115 against him this season, and his ERA is 0.96.  This is a kid ready for a move, and only missed out because of Jonaton Valverde's dominance this season.
17 22 Doug Slaten Tenn Three appearances, 3.2 innings, no walks, five strikeouts and just one hit (yes, that's five Ks in 12 hitters faced).  Curiously though lefties are hitting .300 against this lefty, while right handed hitters flail at a .167 clip.  The most important thing here is just two walks, and 24 strikeouts, in 16 innings pitched this year.
18 11 Miguel Montero Tenn Montero hates taking days off, but might need an extra break in the hot and humid Southern League.  Though he was 5-16 with a run and two RBI he hasn't hit a homer in his last 16 games, and is hitting just .212 in May after hitting .297 in April.  Still, he's finding way to contribute, drawing five walks this week.
19 7 Frank Curreri SB When the defense is weak, the at bats can sometimes be hard to find, and that is the essence of Curreri's week.  He gets just one hit in seven at bats, just one RBI, though he did walk once, and scored both times he was on base.
20 OTC Dustin Nippert Tuc The biggest shock is that it took Nippert so long to finally crack the list, but it was undeniable after this week's work.  This week he won both of his starts, going 12 innings combined, and though he allowed 13 hits and walked two, he struck out 11 and allowed only four earned.  Nippert is now 5-0 on the season, and though in his second start of the season he allowed seven earned in just four innings, in his other five starts he's allowed a total of nine earned in 31 innings pitched.
21 12 Pedro Ciriaco SB A tough week for the young shortstop as he falls out of the Top 20 after going 2-19 without a walk and Ciriaco scored just one run.  His batting average is down 62 points since the start of May due to an average of just .059 this month.
22 26 Carlos Gonzalez Lan In June, when Carlos Gonzalez is the hottest player in the minors, remember this week as the one that got him started.  He was 8-18 with a double, triple, three runs and three RBI.  It isn't the most dominant performance, especially when you consider he walked just once while striking out eight times, but he's still tied for the lead in RBI among D'Backs prospects, and he's hitting .324 with RISP.
23 NR Chris Kinsey Tenn The frequent flyer miles Chris Kinsey has earned this season should pay for a nice vacation.  After a brief stint at Triple-A Tucson to start the season he boarded the JetHawk plane in Hi-A Lancaster, and this week flies across the country to hook up with the Double-A Smokies.  Why?  Well, starting with his final appearance in Tucson and running through his second appearances in Tennessee, Kinsey ran off 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings (six games) and his .195 average against is among the best in the system.
24 17 Emilio Bonifacio Lan The speedy second baseman was just 5-21 this week and the reason appears to be that the JetHawks were on the road, where Bonifacio is hitting just .194 this season, a homestand would help, since Bonifacio is hitting nearly .200 points higher.  When he's hot, he is hot, with 10 multi-hit games this season (three games of three hits or more).
25 28 Jonaton Valverde Lan Schultz's promotion started a domino effect, and Valverde was one the beneficiaries, getting the call up to Lancaster and getting his feet wet quickly.  After three innings allowing five hits and zero earned in South Bend he pitched again in LNC and allowed four hits and three runs (zero earned) in his first Hi-A inning. 
26 12 Brandon Burgess Lan The biggest drop of anyone who stayed on the rankings, Burgess was just 4-18 with a double, a run, and three RBI, but his strikeout woes continue, as he K's seven times (against just one walk).  After hitting .300 in April he's hitting just .133 in May and .156 with RISP.
27 OTC Jaime D'Antona Tenn Normally a 6-23 week wouldn't get you on the list, but when four of those six hits go for extra bases, and three leave the park entirely it helps.  It also helps when you drive five in and score six times.  He has five dingers in his last 35 at bats, and that means he's producing the way the Diamondbacks want a corner infielder to produce.
28 25 Javier Brito Lan Brito continues to produce in limited duty, going 5-18 this week, with a homer, but that was his only RBI, and half his runs scored.  His one homer capped a streak of three straight games with a long ball, and he's crushing at home, hitting .412.  Still, he's only got six RBI in 42 at bats.
29 20 Vincent Bongiovanni SB Bongiovanni finally got touched up this week and as a middle reliever, that means a drop on the FBPR.  Two earned in 3.1 innings over his two appearances, but his average against is still just .140, and his role could expand now that Valverde has moved up to Lancaster.
30 24 Adam Bass Tenn What a shame that after six innings and just one earned run, Bass continues to drop on the FBPR, but once again Bass earned the loss, and that hurts.  Needs to stay close to home, where his ERA is just 1.62 (vs. 7.52 on the road).

On the Cusp:

Adam Howard (South Bend):  Howard returns to the cusp after only making one appearance.  Though he allowed just a hit and a walk, without an earned run, in that appearance, he'll need a little more work before he can crack the ranking.

Ricardo Sosa (South Bend):  Gets the call up after Valverde's promotion, and the third baseman hit the ground running.  He was 5-11 with a double, triple, and homer, a RBI and three runs scored.  He struck out twice, but walked twice as well.

Rusty Ryal (Lancaster):  While Sosa was making headline at third in South Bend, Ryal was quietly reasserting himself in Lancaster.  He was 8-24 with a double, three runs, and six RBI.  Most importantly, he's finally taking pitches, walking as many times as he struck out this week (three times) after walking only five times against 29 strikeouts previously.

Matt Fowles (Lancaster):  In his two appearances this week he pitched three innings and allowed only two hit without a run.  In fact he's yet to allowed an earned run this season (six games and 7.2 innings) though he's far from perfect, allowing at least one hit and one walk in each of his appearances this season.

Falling Off:

Chris Young (Tucson):  A minor injury kept Young out of the lineup for most of the week, but it's not related to the broken hand he suffered in Spring Training, and he returned on Friday, going 0-4, but walking once and scoring a run.  Expect him to be back.

Kevin Jarvis (Tucson):  He's got nothing left to prove, but his latest start probably wasn't going to impress, but the fact that once again he went six innings, and allowed only one earned (three runs overall) should more than make up for the fact that he earned a 'L.'

Matt Elliott (Lancaster):  Three innings pitched in three appearances, and though he did earn two saves, he allowed four hits and two runs.  His 1.60 WHIP is far too high for a closer, and with Valverde in Lancaster, he may have to start splitting his chances.

Adam Bass (Tennessee):  More bad news for the Week One #1.  Though he went six innings again, he al

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