Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending May 12:
Andy Oliver, Indianapolis
(2-0, 0.82 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 10 BB, 11 K)
Oliver went 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA for Toledo last year before being acquired by the Pirates in December. The move to Indianapolis seems to agree with the 25-year-old lefty -- he's held IL hitters to a .185 average in his first eight starts with the Indians. Oliver won both of his starts this week, allowing two hits over six scoreless frames at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday before giving up one run on three hits in five innings against the Mud Hens on Saturday. Though Oliver leads the league with 50 strikeouts and has surrendered just 28 hits in 43 1/3 innings, he also ranks first on the circuit with 29 walks.
Tribe's Oliver strikes out Almonte
Pacific Coast League
Brett Oberholtzer, Oklahoma City
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 9 K)
After a rough April -- he posted a 7.79 ERA in four Minor League starts and gave up two homers over two innings in his big league debut -- the 23-year-old Oberholtzer had his finest outing of the season Friday. The left-hander held visiting Tacoma to one hit over 5 2/3 scoreless frames while fanning a season-high nine batters in the RedHawks' 1-0 win. The outing was Oberholtzer's second without giving up a home run in six starts for Oklahoma City.
Paul Demny, Harrisburg
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 5 K)
On May 4, Demny was ripped by the Binghamton Mets for five runs -- two earned -- on six hits over four innings in his third straight loss. Five days later the 23-year-old right-hander held the B-Mets hitless over eight frames, combining with reliever Ian Krol on Harrisburg's first nine-inning no-hitter since 2003. The win was Demny's first since the opening week of the season and lowered his ERA from 5.90 to 4.62.
David Holmberg, Mobile
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
Holmberg suffered tough luck in his first six outings of the season -- despite a 2.45 ERA, his record was 0-2. The 21-year-old southpaw finally notched his first win Thursday with eight scoreless frames against Chattanooga, matching a season high with eight strikeouts. Holmberg began the season as the D-backs' No. 9 prospect; now owning a 1.98 ERA, he's making a strong case to move up the ladder.
Yordano Ventura, Northwest Arkansas
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 14 K)
Though just 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Ventura has an electric arm and one of the best fastballs in the Minor Leagues. The No. 56 prospect, who turns 22 in June, is demonstrating his mastery in the Texas League, where he ranks fourth in ERA (1.57) and third in strikeouts (47 in 34 1/3 innings). Ventura tossed 11 shutout frames this week, allowing four hits and five walks while fanning 14 -- 10 of them in the Naturals' 6-1 win over Arkansas on Monday. Combined with a scoreless start on April 30, Ventura is riding a 16-inning shutout streak in which he's given up five hits and struck out 24.
Ventura discusses game with 10 strikeouts
Chris Jensen, Modesto
(1-0, 0.60 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 15 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
Still looking for his first win in his eighth start of the season, Jensen retired the first 13 batters he faced at Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon and went on to toss eight scoreless frames in the Nuts' 5-0 win. It was the best outing by a Modesto starter this season, and combined with the right-hander's strong seven-inning performance against Stockton on Tuesday, lowered Jensen's ERA to 3.45 -- 10th-best in the Cal League. Jensen's 1.02 WHIP is tied for fourth on the circuit.
Victor Payano, Myrtle Beach
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 9 K)
Despite Payano's 46 strikeouts -- second-most in the Carolina League -- the 20-year-old left-hander has given up his share of runs and began the week with a 5.34 ERA. He put everything together against Salem on Friday, allowing just two hits and striking out nine over seven scoreless innings in the Pelicans' 5-1 win. Payano improved to 3-2 with the outing, his finest of the season, which gave Myrtle Beach its fourth consecutive victory.
Florida State League
D.J. Baxendale, Fort Myers
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 16 K)
A 10th-round pick out of Arkansas last June, Baxendale was named the Twins organization's Pitcher of the Month in April. The 22-year-old right-hander is well on his way to further awards, as he's been even better in May. Baxendale yielded one unearned run on six hits and one walk in a pair of seven-inning starts this week and is now holding Florida State League hitters to a .179 average over his first seven outings. Baxendale's 10 strikeouts against Tampa on Monday set a career mark, and he now leads the FSL in wins (five) and WHIP (0.78), ranks second in ERA (1.25) and fifth in strikeouts (41).
Taylor Guerrieri, Bowling Green
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
Guerrieri has appeared in just 18 professional games and has never pitched more than five innings in any of them. The results, however, have been impressive enough to make him MLB.com's No. 41 prospect. The 20-year-old right-hander -- a first-round pick (24th overall) in the 2011 Draft -- had the finest outing of his brief career Sunday afternoon, allowing one hit and striking out a personal-best 10 batters over five scoreless innings in the Hot Rods' 8-0 win over Lake County. With tremendous command of his pitches -- he did not walk a right-handed batter in 52 innings last season -- Guerrieri will be a hurler to watch as he develops in the Rays organization.
Postgame chat with Hot Rods' Taylor Guerrieri
South Atlantic League
Bryan Brickhouse, Lexington
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 9 K)
Winless in his first five starts of the season, Brickhouse broke out on Monday with a career-high nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless frames as the Legends topped host Lakewood, 2-0. The 20-year-old right-hander was a 2011 third-round pick by the Royals out of The Woodlands (Texas) H.S., where he was a teammate of Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon. Brickhouse, who attributed his success Monday to improved curveball command, is holding Sally League hitters to a .216 batting average.