Pitchers of the Week07/25/2011 5:15 PM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
Brandon Duckworth, Pawtucket
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 2/3 IP, 10 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K
The 35-year-old Duckworth lost three straight games before the Triple-A All-Star break but has subsequently bounced back with three consecutive victories, including a pair of scoreless outings this week. He yielded 17 hits in both the three losses and the three wins but reduced his walks from 10 to two. Two of the three victories came against first-place clubs: Durham and Lehigh Valley.
Pacific Coast League
Frankie De La Cruz, Nashville
1-0, 1.38 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 4 BB, 15 K
The Iowa Cubs have seen about enough of Frankie De La Cruz after the Nashville right-hander stifled them over 13 innings this week. De La Cruz allowed one run on four hits over 4 1/3 frames on Monday, then came within an out of his first complete game since 2007 -- and second career shutout -- on Saturday while fanning a season-high 10 batters. He'd limited the I-Cubs to four hits over 8 2/3 innings before yielding back-to-back doubles to Brad Snyder and Ryan Flaherty in the ninth inning of the Sounds' 4-1 win.
Austin Hyatt, Reading
2-0, 1.38 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 16 K
The Florida State League's Most Valuable Pitcher last season, Hyatt has prospered following the jump to Double-A, posting a 9-5 record. His 125 strikeouts rank fourth in the Eastern League. The right-hander matched a season high in both innings and punchouts at New Hampshire on Monday after allowing one run on four hits while fanning 10 over seven innings in the R-Phils' 3-2 win. The B-Mets fared no better against him on Saturday, mustering one run on four hits in Hyatt's six innings.
Brett Oberholtzer, Mississippi
2-0, 1.38 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 13 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 K
After taking the loss in six of seven starts between May 25 and July 2, Braves southpaw prospect Brett Oberholtzer has reeled off four consecutive victories and has allowed no more than two runs in any of his last seven outings. Since turning 21 at the start of the month, the Braves' eighth-round pick in the 2008 Draft has posted a 2.18 ERA over 33 innings. He held Tennessee to one run on three hits over seven frames on Monday, then limited host Jacksonville to one earned run in six innings Saturday.
Matt Shoemaker, Arkansas
1-1, 0.56 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 16 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 12 K
Few pitchers this season have been more impressive than the Travelers' Shoemaker, who is Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the third time in six weeks. An undrafted free agent who signed with the Angels in 2008, Shoemaker leads the circuit in ERA by 0.82 runs, ranks second with 95 strikeouts and has walked just 18 batters in 109 2/3 innings. On Tuesday he suffered a dreaded complete-game loss after allowing one unearned run on five hits over nine innings, then bounced back to limit Tulsa to one run over seven frames on Sunday. Shoemaker has allowed two earned runs in his last 32 innings.
Curtis Partch, Bakersfield
1-0, 1.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 4 K
At 67-33, the San Jose Giants have the second-best record among all full-season Minor League clubs. That didn't deter Blaze right-hander Curtis Partch, who held them to one run on six hits over nine innings for his second career complete game Friday. Six of Partch's last seven outings have been homer-free, and he's walked just seven batters during the stretch -- both key indicators in the offense-friendly California League.
Robert Bundy, Frederick
2-0, 0.56 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 16 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 1 BB, 15 K
Bundy joined teammate Nathan Moreau as the only Carolina League hurlers with 10 victories thanks to a pair of sterling outings this week. The 21-year-old Bundy twirled a three-hitter at Salem on Tuesday, matching a season high with nine strikeouts in his third career complete game, then held visiting Myrtle Beach -- the circuit's top hitting club -- to an unearned run on two hits over seven frames Sunday. He ranks third in the league with 97 strikeouts.
Florida State League
Bryan Evans, Jupiter
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K
Having posted a 0.78 ERA in 12 relief appearances for the Hammerheads, Bryan Evans is proving that he's just as good in the rotation. In four starts, the 24-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with an identical 0.78 mark, allowing two runs in 23 innings. Neither of those runs came in his two outings this week, as he held Tampa and Lakeland scoreless over 12 frames. The Florida State League is batting .174 against Evans in 46 innings this season.
Trevor Rosenthal, Quad Cities
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K
After yielding a leadoff single to Lake County's Carlos Moncrief in the first inning, Trevor Rosenthal was virtually untouchable on Friday night. He did not allow another hit before departing with two outs in the ninth inning of the River Bandits' 3-1 win. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed one unearned run while fanning eight for his first victory since June 2. Rosenthal ranks fourth in the league in strikeouts with 102 -- the most by any non-Dayton Dragons hurler.
South Atlantic League
Joshua Slaats, Asheville
2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 13 K
Slaats has won five of his last six starts, with none more impressive than his two victories over Greensboro, the third-best hitting team in the Sally League, this week. The University of Hawaii product struck out eight while holding the Grasshoppers to five hits over seven scoreless frames Tuesday, then allowed them one run in six innings Sunday. The Rockies' fifth-round pick in 2010, Slaats has yielded more than one run just once in his last six outings.
New York-Penn League
Jeffrey Walters, Brooklyn
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 3 K
A seventh-round pick out of the University of Georgia last year, Brooklyn's Jeffrey Walters limited Aberdeen to one hit over a career-high six frames on Thursday. The right-handed Mets prospect has given up one home run while holding the New York-Penn League to a .196 average over 31 1/3 innings in his seven starts.
Justin Nicolino, Vancouver
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 9 K
In his first six professional starts, Nicolino had thrown five scoreless one-hit frames three times. At Eugene on Thursday he went one step farther, holding the Emeralds hitless while fanning nine and walking one. The Floridian southpaw, a Blue Jays second-round selection in 2010, leads the Northwest League in strikeouts (47) and WHIP (0.82) while ranking second in ERA (1.32).
Ryan Bollinger, Bristol
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K
Bollinger, a 20-year-old left-hander who signed with the White Sox as a free agent, tossed five hitless innings in his professional debut June 23. His results since then could obviously not compare, but he came close on Wednesday when he limited host Elizabethton to two hits while fanning eight over six shutout frames. Boasting a 4-0 record and 40 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings, Bollinger is tied for the league lead in both victories and punchouts.
Baudilio Lopez, Orem
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 2 K
Lopez got off to a slow start with the Owlz, allowing 17 earned runs over 19 2/3 innings while dropping his first four starts. The 20-year-old right-hander bounced back at Great Falls on Monday, however, limiting the Voyagers to a pair of hits in six scoreless frames. He struck out two and walked three while earning his first win of the season.