FutureBacks Power Rankings: 2nd Half Begins

Brooks Brown: Future's so bright...

The FutureBacks Power Rankings make their triumphant return, and they've put on weight since you've last seen them. Now that baseball is being played in the Northwest, we had to make room for more hot Arizona Diamondbacks prospects. The rankings have therefore expanded from 25 to 30 players, and will now appear every week for the remainder of the season.

Even with this expansion, we're having a difficult time fitting all of the deserving pitchers throughout the organization.  With Brett Anderson, Max Scherzer, Brooks Brown, Dustin Glant, and Adam Howard all enjoying promotions in the past couple of months - and all of them succeeding at their new assignments - it's easy to see that pitching is on the rise throughout the organization.  Heck, the Diamondbacks even cut Adam Bass, who had boasted a 2.16 ERA for Tucson, so that they could make room for some more exciting arms.

Remember, these rankings chronicle the hottest organizational prospects who are making the most of their opportunity, with the heaviest weight placed on the past week of play.

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Note: Stats are accurate through the end of June.   

Rank Pos Name Team Comment
1 CF Justin Upton Mob .263 AVG last season a distant memory
2 SP Brooks Brown Mob Native Georgian is thriving in Mobile so far (1.64 ERA)
3 SP Brett Anderson Vis Walking more batters at higher level, but still getting good results
4 SP Max Scherzer Mob This guy was worth the wait
5 1B Bryan Byrne Vis .378 over past 10 G, and never under .300 for a month
6 1B  Chris Carter Tuc Possible trade bait is hitting .325 on the year
7 RF Gerardo Parra SB Mr. clutch is batting .415 since All-Star break
8 SP Esmerling Vasquez Mob 4-0 2.58 over past 10 starts; leads great staff with 90 strikeouts
9 CF Joey Side SB Mr. consistency has hit .318 or better every month
10 SS Mark Hallberg Yak Slick fielder showing some surprising pop with wood bat (.462 SLG)
11 SP Tony Barnette SB Finally getting batters to chase pitches (11 K/13IP since AS break)
12 RP Matt Elliott Mob 22 K and 1 ER over last 15.1 IP
13 C Orlando Mercado Vis .444 OBP among best in the organization
14 SP Dallas Buck Vis Back-to-back 2-hit shutouts in June
15 RP Reid Mahon SB Allowed just 4 ER in past 2 months
16 OF Jeff Salazar Tuc 4 SB in last 4 games; 1st guy promoted if Byrnes is dealt?
17 SP Greg Smith Mob Crafty southpaw continues to flummox hitters
18 SP Bryan Henry Mis 1 earned run allowed in first 2 pro starts
19 C Wilkin Castillo Mob Do the math: Castillo hit .236 in April; now boasts .320 AVG
20 RP A. J. Shappi Mob A crafty northpaw? RHP has 43/9 K/BB ratio
21 SP Cesar Valdez SB Overcame dead arm to throw 22 IP over past 3 starts (1.64 ERA)
22 3B Rusty Ryal Mob Earned promotion to Mobile by crushing Cal League pitching
23 C Frank Curreri Vis Injury to John Hester allowed Curreri to flaunt his bat
24 RP Daniel Stange Mob Rebounded nicely from rough May: 11 K 0 BB 1 ER over past 9 IP
25 OF Peter Clifford Mis Triple shy of the cycle on Sunday
26 RP Mark Rosen Mob Supposed lefty specialist is getting everybody out
27 OF Shane Byrne Yak Oddball switch-hitter getting a chance to star in Yakima (.367 BA)
28 SP Derik Nippert SB Dustin's twin is finally healthy and effective: 3-1 2.21 this year
29 RP Josh Blake Mis 6'4" Auburn southpaw came out of the draft firing
30 OF Derrick Walker Mis Gifted athlete is starting to realize his promise

Three To Watch:

- RP Dustin Glant (Tucson), who could get yet another promotion once he fully adjusts to Triple-A

- RP Chase Christainson (Yakima), now justifying his high draft selection last year (.121 BAA with Bears)

- Newly acquired OF Aaron Cunningham (Visalia), who has crushed the ball in six games since his trade

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Disagree with our rankings?  Have a question about a prospect?  Just plain lonely?  Email future_backs@yahoo.com with your concerns.

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