With the Arizona Diamondbacks 9.5 games out of first place in the NL West and 6.5 back in the Wild Card, now is the time that aspirations of a miraculous playoff push devolve into the standard fare of "what to look forward to in 2013."
For now, though, September 1 is just around the corner, which means fall call-ups and focusing on the future.
We've already seen the touted Trevor Bauer, though he is hardly the only D'Backs prospect to keep an eye out for. Including the young UCLA grad, these five Diamondbacks prospects bear consideration.
In the midst of his cup-of-coffee with Arizona, pitcher Tyler Skaggs has tried making the most of his time, throwing a 2.92 ERA with nine strikeouts over 12.1 innings pitched, holding opponents to a .182 batting average and 1.22 WHIP.
By comparison, his Triple-A WHIP in 2012 is 1.23 while his MiLB career batting average against is .235.
Skaggs has been playing above potential in the majors, though the young lefty showed some rookie jitters against Cincinnati on Monday, surrendering three runs (two earned) in 5.2 innings of work to claim the loss.
Since his first round selection during the 2009 draft, third baseman Matt Davidson has progressed through the minors to Double-A Mobile in 2012, where he presently owns an .827 OPS with 22 home runs and 71 RBI.
Like fellow prospect Davidson, shortstop Chris Owings was a first-round pick in the 2009 draft and like Owings, he has advanced through the minors to Double-A Mobile, having been named a 2012 California League Mid-Season All-Star while with Visalia.
His numbers with the Rawhide certainly support that honor: a .905 OPS, which includes a .324 batting average.
Like Davidson, Owings will also appear in the 2012 Arizona Fall League, giving the D-Backs' front office a greater opportunity to observe him up close.
Trevor Bauer's first go-around at the Major League level left much to be desired, hurling a 1-2 record and 6.06 ERA over four starts with the big league club.
But sources—including manager Kirk Gibson—indicate that Bauer may very well join the team after the Triple-A Reno Aces conclude their season mid-September.
Said Gibson, "It's possible, yeah."
Since his subpar MLB debut, Bauer has compiled an impressive resume in the minors, recording a 12-2 record, 2.39 ERA and 152 strikeouts over 124.1 innings pitched.
Don't count this kid out.
Like teammate Trevor Bauer, A.J. Pollock has had a rough time at the big level in 2012, only to rebound with a strong effort at Triple-A Reno.
Though Pollock is just 14-for-56 in the majors, he is batting .323 with a .785 OPS in Triple-A, stealing 20 bases in the PCL and continuing his push for a return trip.
Now that he is over the hurdle of the MLB debut, expect Pollock to return as a formidable young ballplayer.