Rick VandenHurk, Indianapolis
(2-0, 2.08 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 14 K)
Despite making just 14 starts for the Indians so far, VandenHurk is tied for the IL lead with 11 victories. After dropping three of his previous four starts, the 27-year-old right-hander beat Buffalo at home on Tuesday, allowing one run over six frames, and held the Yankees to a pair of runs on four hits over seven innings on Sunday. VandenHurk, a native of the Netherlands, fanned seven in both outings. Though he lacks the innings to qualify, VandenHurk's 3.34 ERA would be 10th best in the International League.
Pacific Coast League
Shelby Miller, Memphis
(2-0, 2.57 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 16 K)
It hasn't been a smooth season for Miller, MLB.com's No. 2 prospect. After posting a 2.77 ERA and allowing four home runs over 139 2/3 Class A Advanced and Double-A innings last year, the 21-year-old right-hander owns a 5.25 ERA and has yielded 20 longballs in 22 starts this season. The 19th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, Miller made strides this week, racking up 16 strikeouts -- without walking a batter -- in a pair of seven-inning outings. Having dropped six straight decisions between mid May and mid July, Miller has won three of his last four starts and has not issued a walk in his last 24 innings.
Michael Kickham, Richmond
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 12 K)
It's been a curious season for the left-handed Kickham -- his walk rate is significantly higher than it was at Class A Augusta last season (his 63 walks are fourth most in the EL) and his strikeouts have been steady. But EL hitters have managed to hit just .220 off the Missouri State product, whose 2.76 ERA is third-best in the league. He had his finest outing of the season against Reading on Thursday, holding the Phillies to a double and a pair of singles over 8 1/3 shutout innings. Not only did Kickham walk just one, he fanned a career-high 12 and faced only two batters over the minimum.
Graham Taylor, Jacksonville
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K)
The 28-year-old Taylor earned his second Southern League award in three weeks with eight scoreless frames against Montgomery on Friday night. Though the southpaw walked two and gave up seven hits, none of them went for extra bases as Taylor won his third straight decision. Since being ripped by the Biscuits for six runs on 10 hits over five innings on June 29, Taylor has surrendered three runs in his last 32 innings covering five starts.
Ethan Hollingsworth, NW Arkansas
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 4 K)
After winning 12 games in the California League in 2010, Hollingsworth has been traded twice and moved to the bullpen, where he's had mixed results this season. The results this week were unreservedly good, however, as the 25-year-old right-hander held first-place Springfield scoreless over 6 1/3 innings on Monday, then tossed two no-hit frames at Arkansas on Friday. Though the Texas League is still hitting .304 against him for the season, the Cardinals and Travelers went just 4-for-27 (.148) this week.
Taylor Stanton, High Desert
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 K)
Before his Thursday start at Lake Elsinore, Stanton had given up 12 earned runs on 21 hits in 12 innings while losing his previous two outings. He silenced the Storm for the second straight time, allowing three hits over eight shutout frames in the Mavericks' 4-0 win. (He'd pitched six scoreless innings at The Diamond on July 12.) The 24-year-old right-hander matched a season high with six strikeouts and improved to 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA as a starter after nine disappointing relief appearances earlier in the season.
Dylan Bundy, Frederick
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K)
Though not quite matching the level he set at the start of the season, when he allowed five hits and two unearned runs while fanning 40 in his first 30 innings as a pro, Bundy continues to illustrate why the Orioles made him the fourth overall pick in 2011. MLB.com's No. 7 prospect had 11 days off before his Wednesday start at Lynchburg. The extra rest suited the 19-year-old right-hander, who allowed two hits and an unearned run over a career-high 6 2/3 innings. Bundy's eight strikeouts matched his highest total in 10 Carolina League starts.
Florida State League
Jameson Taillon, Bradenton
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 8 K)
Having gone winless in four starts before Monday's outing at Lakeland, Taillon tried something different: he wore a suit to the ballpark. An odd choice for Florida in summer, perhaps, but it seems to have worked -- the 20-year-old righty tossed 12 scoreless innings this week, allowing four hits and striking out eight. The Pirates prospect lowered his ERA to 3.91 and is holding Florida State League hitters to a .226 average.
Jeff Ferrell, West Michigan
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
With one victory in his previous nine starts, West Michigan was looking for improvement from the right-handed Ferrell. What the club got was perfection, as the 21-year-old North Carolina native retired all 21 batters he faced in the Whitecaps' 6-0 win over Lake County on Thursday. Coming exactly 14 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the outing was Ferrell's longest since April 23, 2011. He struck out six and recorded 11 groundball outs against just two flyouts.
South Atlantic League
Hoby Milner, Lakewood
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
A seventh-round pick out of the University of Texas in June, Milner seems to be adjusting well to the pro game. After pitching seven innings of three-hit, scoreless ball at Delmarva on Thursday, the 21-year-old left-hander owns a 12 1/3-inning shutout streak during which he's fanned 11 and walked two. Seven outings with the BlueClaws suggest that Milner is more of a night than morning person: he's 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five evening starts and 0-2 with a 9.39 mark in a pair of day games.
New York-Penn League
Luis DeJesus, Mahoning Valley
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
DeJesus was roughed up in four relief appearances with full-season Lake County earlier this season, but has definitely found his rhythm as a member of the Scrappers rotation. The 20-year-old Texan has allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his nine NYPL starts and had his longest and strongest outing of the season at Vermont on Friday: seven innings, no runs, three hits and six strikeouts. DeJesus, a right-hander, ranks third in the league in both innings pitched (51) and ERA (1.41).
Will Scott, Eugene
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K)
After making an emergency start for Triple-A Tucson on July 23 (he gave up two runs on six hits and three walks in four innings), Scott fared even worse in his return to the Northwest League on July 28, allowing three runs in one inning of relief. Four days later, Scott regained his mastery, holding first-half West Division champion Everett to two singles over six scoreless frames. Both the six innings and five strikeouts were season highs for the 21-year-old right-hander, whom the Padres selected in the 32nd round of the 2010 Draft.
Yender Caramo, Burlington
(0-0, 1.29 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
The Royals have the best record in the Appy League, due in part to Caramo, who after four rough outings to start the season has now allowed two runs over his last 20 innings. On Wednesday he held Elizabethton, which leads the West Division, to a run on three hits over a season-high seven strong frames. In 41 innings this season, the right-handed Caramo has struck out 30 and walked four.
Ross Stripling, Ogden
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
At 22, Stripling is a little bit older than the average Pioneer League player. With a 0.39 ERA and .171 average against, he's also been a little bit better. Stripling, a fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M (where he threw a no-hitter on May 12 and pitched 125 2/3 innings this year), has been held to no more than three innings in any of his nine outings with Ogden. After allowing a run in his debut on June 24, the right-hander given up 12 hits and struck out 26 over 22 scoreless frames. In six innings this week, Stripling faced 19 batters and allowed one single.