Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending April 28:
Freddy Garcia, Norfolk
(2-0, 1.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 16 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K)
Longtime big league veteran Freddy Garcia may not want to be in Triple-A, but he's certainly making the best of it with a 4-0 record and 2.67 ERA in his first five starts for the Tides. Working 16 innings in his two outings this week, Garcia held Charlotte and Toledo to four runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits and has earned the victory in each of his last four starts. Though Garcia may not dominate hitters -- he has 21 strikeouts over 33 2/3 innings -- he's still a workhorse who doesn't hurt himself. The 36-year-old right-hander has walked just two batters this season.
Pacific Coast League
Andrew Carraway, Tacoma
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K)
Left-hander Danny Hultzen gets most of the attention on the Rainiers staff, but this week it was teammate (and fellow University of Virginia product) Andrew Carraway's turn in the spotlight. After Hultzen went down with rotator cuff strain, Carraway took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Friday night in Tacoma's 10-1 win over Las Vegas. The 26-year-old right-hander ultimately gave up two singles and a walk while fanning five over seven scoreless frames to win his third straight start.
Jesse Biddle, Reading
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 26 K)
A Philadelphia native, the left-handed Biddle has been on Phillies fans' radar for several years, but never has he been quite this dominant. After leading the Florida State League in strikeouts last year, Biddle opened the season as the Phillies' top prospect (No. 60 overall), and apart from a rough start at Portland on April 10, he's been overwhelming Eastern League hitters. He kicked off the week by fanning a career-high 16 batters over seven scoreless, one-hit frames at Harrisburg on Monday, then closed it out with 10 more strikeouts in six one-hit innings against New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon. It doesn't get much better than 26 strikeouts and two hits over 13 scoreless innings.
Biddle earns 16th K for Fightin Phils
Alex Wood, Mississippi
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 14 K)
Wood is another Double-A left-hander coming into his own this spring. A second-round pick last June out of the University of Georgia, Wood picked up a knuckle-curve from Braves relievers Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters to go along with a nasty fastball and changeup and a funky delivery. Wood tossed seven scoreless innings against Jackson on April 17, then went on the road for two more shutout starts at Mobile on Monday and Huntsville on Saturday night. The Braves' No. 6 prospect owns a 0.67 ERA over his first five Double-A outings and has not allowed a run in his last 18 frames.
Braves' Wood freezes Cota for strike out
Jarrett Grube, Arkansas
(2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 16 K)
The 31-year-old Grube isn't a prospect like Biddle or Wood, but he's been just as effective in Double-A this spring. A 10-year Minor League veteran, Grube retired the first 17 batters he faced before allowing a double against Frisco on April 5 and picked up his third and fourth victories with 13 strong innings this week. Grube leads the Texas League with four wins and 29 1/3 innings pitched, ranks second with 30 strikeouts and has the fifth-best ERA at 1.53.
Eric Cendejas, Inland Empire
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 G, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
A 33rd-round pick in 2010, Cendejas has been a workhorse out of the bullpen in his second full season with the 66ers. He made 47 appearances for Inland Empire last year and is tied for the league lead with 11 more this season, including four scoreless outings this week. The 25-year-old Cendejas pitched two innings Tuesday, one Thursday, two Saturday and one more Sunday, allowing one walk and no hits while fanning eight. After the no-hit week, Cendejas has held Cal League hitters to a .179 average in 16 1/3 innings this season.
Jordan Cooper, Carolina
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
Cooper won nine games for the Mudcats last year but was 0-2 after his first three starts of 2013 despite a respectable 3.24 ERA. The 23-year-old right-hander is winless no longer after eight shutout innings of three-hit ball at Frederick on Friday night. Cooper fanned eight, walked one and needed just 90 pitches -- 62 of them strikes -- to get through eight frames. The Wichita State product's ERA is down to a team-leading 2.19, and he's holding opposing batters to a .184 average. The win could be the only one he records with Carolina this season, as he was promoted to Double-A Akron on Monday.
Florida State League
Casey Lawrence, Dunedin
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K)
Five days after pitching 9 2/3 scoreless innings at Lakeland, Lawrence tossed eight more in Dunedin's 3-0 win over Daytona Tuesday night. This time, Lawrence was less economical -- he'd needed just 103 pitches in Lakeland -- while piling up nine strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander faced one over the minimum through seven innings and did not allow a Cubs runner past second base in the victory.
Player of the Game Casey Lawrence
Ryan Crowley, Burlington
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
A 19th-round pick out of Northwest Florida State in 2011, Crowley had a rough 2012 campaign, going a combined 3-14 with a 5.63 ERA with Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Back in the Midwest League with the Angels' new Burlington affiliate, the left-hander has enjoyed much better results, culminating in a season-high seven-inning scoreless outing at Bowling Green on Friday night. Crowley fanned six in the effort and has walked just two batters in his first 19 innings of the season.
South Atlantic League
Rainy Lara, Savannah
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K)
Though Lara won his start at Lakewood on April 20, he did so in spite of giving up 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander was far more economical Saturday night, holding visiting West Virginia to five hits and striking out nine over 7 1/3 scoreless frames. Now 3-1 in his four starts with the Sand Gnats, Lara has fanned 24 batters over 24 innings while walking just three.