Prospect Power Rankings: Vol. 4

Who's No. 1?

After a week off, our rankings return with a new No. 1.  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp

1.) Randy Wells – SP – Iowa

A ERA hovering around 1.00 through his first 11 starts, he is coming off his worst outing of the year after giving up four runs in six innings for West Tenn. That snapped a string of 11 straight starts to open the year with no more than one earned run allowed. Wells still leads the Cub farm system in ERA for starters at 1.59 in 62 1/3 innings. Promoted to Triple-A on Monday, he'll make his Iowa debut later this week.

Previously: Second.

2. Jake Fox – C – Daytona

A much deserved and perhaps slightly overdue call-up to Double-A was awarded to the Florida State League's top power hitter on Monday. His 16th home run just before the All-Star break tied him with Iowa's Micah Hoffpauir for the most in the farm system, and his 61 RBIs continue to lead the system while a .313 average remains steady.

Previously: Third.

3. Sam Fuld – OF – Daytona

The on-base king of the Cubs' farm system continued to hit well with a .337 average to close out the first half. He's third in the system in stolen bases with 19 in 22 attempts. A Brett Carroll promotion from Jupiter to Double-A Carolina gave Fuld the late bump up to the FSL All-Star game after initially failing to make the cut.

Previously: First.

4. Mark Reed – C – Peoria

Now that he's getting more at-bats and expects to be behind the plate more frequently with Jake Muyco going to Daytona, his .343 average is currently the best in the farm system, though with fewer at-bats than his competition.

Previously: "Honorable Mention."

5. Mitch Atkins – SP – Peoria

Second only to Wells for the best ERA of any starter in the farm system, Atkins is coming off his worst outing of the year in which he gave up four runs to Kane County on Thursday night. He's now 6-1 with a 2.24 ERA and has 68 strikeouts to 25 walks in 13 starts.

Previously: Sixth.

6. Sean Gallagher – SP – West Tenn

A well-deserved promotion to West Tenn barred him from participating in the Florida State League All-Star Game. He allowed two runs in five innings for the win in his Double-A debut last Friday night.

Previously: Ninth.

7. Donald Veal – SP – Daytona

One of four Peoria players promoted on Sunday, he leads the Cubs' farm system with 86 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings and still has the lowest average against (.179) of any starter to compliment a solid 2.69 ERA in 14 starts.

Previously: 10th.

8. Rich Hill – SP – Iowa

While much has been made of the southpaw's struggles at the major league club, there's no denying his success at Triple-A the past two seasons. Hill lowered his ERA to 2.38 with a decent outing in New Orleans during his most recent start, when he gave up two runs in six innings. He now has a plus 6-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio and even .200 average against.

Previously: Fifth.

9. Adalberto Mendez – RP/CP – Daytona

He has a 4-0 record, 0.66 ERA and 12 saves in 41 innings with 50 strikeouts to eight walks and a 0.85 WHIP in 30 appearances. The right-hander hasn't been scored on in his last 13 innings, in which he has 22 strikeouts to one walk. Another snub from the FSL all-star team originally, he joined the league's elite to coincide with Gallagher's promotion to West Tenn.

Previous High: Ninth.

10. Clay Rapada – CP – West Tenn

His 21 saves are currently tied for the most in the farm system, but a 0.86 ERA in more innings pitched at a higher level of competition gives him the edge over his runner-up.

Previously: Eighth.

This Week's Honorable Mentions

Ed Campusano (CP, Peoria) – The left-hander was one of the four players promoted from Peoria on Sunday. Only instead of going to Daytona, he'll find himself at Double-A once the Midwest League All-Star Game concludes Tuesday. He closed out the first half with a 1.21 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

Chris Shaver (SP, West Tenn) – Two runs allowed in his last two starts have given the 6'7" left-hander back-to-back wins. He maintains a 2.57 ERA in 70 innings at Double-A.

Miguel Negron (OF, West Tenn) – Thirteen of his 30 hits have gone for extra bases. Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken, in town for the Diamond Jaxx recent road trip in Huntsville (Ala.), told us that he is more impressed with the former first round pick of the Blue Jays today than he was six years ago when Toronto drafted him. Since coming over to the Cubs' farm system, he is batting .400 with 11 doubles and an OPS of 1.060. At only 23, his prospect status is still there.

Matt Craig (1B, Daytona) – His average dipped below .300 recently for the first time since mid-May. The Florida State League all-star is still showing modest pop with eight homers and 37 RBIs, plus maintains a .387 OBP, which is second behind only Fuld for the team lead.

Chris Walker (CF, West Tenn) – The knock on Walker has always been his age and level of competition. "Age, schmage," we say. Until proven otherwise, he's still a dangerous threat on the bases and good for around a .280 average each year. Batting .288 with a farm system best 22 stolen bases, he's having another solid season in his first year above A-ball.

(Statistics updated through June 19.)

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