Pitchers of the Week09/06/2011 5:45 PM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
D.J. Mitchell, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 13 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 5 BB, 10 K
Mitchell, a 24-year-old right-hander, finished off an impressive season by winning his final four starts. On Wednesday the Clemson product allowed two runs -- one earned -- over five innings of relief at IL Wild Card Lehigh Valley, then closed out the campaign with eight scoreless frames against Buffalo on Labor Day. Mitchell ranked fifth in the International League with a 3.18 ERA, and his 13 victories were second only to Julio Teheran's 15. He paced the circuit with three complete games -- two of them shutouts.
Pacific Coast League
Michael Fiers, Nashville
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 14 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 13 K
Michael Fiers was impressive in 22 outings (eight starts) with Double-A Huntsville earlier this season, going 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA. The 26-year-old right-hander has been unbelievable since joining Nashville for good in early July, however. He's 8-0 with a 1.11 mark in 10 starts, during which he's held the offense-happy Pacific Coast League to a .166 batting average. This week he tossed a three-hit shutout at Iowa on Wednesday, then allowed a pair of unearned runs in five innings at Memphis on Monday. Fiers has given up three earned runs in his last 44 2/3 innings.
Drew Hutchison, New Hampshire
2-0, 1.80 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 10 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 14 K
It has been a remarkable season for Hutchison, who turned 21 on Aug. 22. A 15th-round pick in the 2009 Draft, the right-hander began the season at Class A Lansing and was not among the Blue Jays' top 20 prospects. Five months later, he's posted a 14-5 record with a 2.53 ERA across three levels and has gone 3-0 with a 1.20 mark in his first three Double-A outings. The Florida native allowed two runs on seven hits over five frames at Trenton on Tuesday, then held Portland to one hit in five scoreless innings and combined with three relievers on a two-hit shutout. In 15 Eastern League innings, Hutchison has fanned 21 and walked two.
James Gillheeney, Jackson
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 4 BB, 5 K
Gillheeney was winless in his first six starts for Jackson this season and was coming off an outing that saw him yield six runs on six hits and three walks in just four innings. At Jacksonville on Saturday, the 23-year-old Rhode Island native rebounded with his finest game of the season, holding the Suns hitless over seven frames and earning his first Double-A win of the year.
Jake Odorizzi, Northwest Arkansas
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K
After posting a 5.73 ERA and allowing eight home runs in six August starts, the 21-year-old Odorizzi worked on adjusting his mechanics in bullpen sessions. The work paid off Friday night as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against arch rival Arkansas, which had torched him for six runs on Aug. 6. The right-handed Odorizzi faced the minimum through five frames and the Travelers' only hit off him was a one-out single in the seventh. Arkansas will likely get another crack at him this week, as the two clubs face each other in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.
Jon Hesketh, High Desert
2-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K
Before this week, Hesketh's only win of the season came on April 17. Sidelined by a thumb injury, the southpaw has pitched just 45 innings this season. He wrapped up the campaign with a pair of victories over the Bakersfield Blaze, tossing two scoreless frames of relief Monday, then allowing one run over a season-high five innings in just his fourth start of the season Friday. In his last 13 innings, Hesketh has given up one run and fanned 13 without walking a batter.
Justin Marks, Wilmington
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 10 K
Marks was the Oakland A's third-round pick in 2009 after being named Big East Pitcher of the Year in his junior season at Louisville. Acquired by the Royals last offseason, the 23-year-old left-hander was 3-5 with a 4.91 ERA and 10 homers allowed in 14 first-half appearances. His home runs are down and his numbers are much improved in the second half, culminating in a pair of scoreless starts this week. Marks held Myrtle Beach to five hits over six frames Wednesday, then pitched seven three-hit innings while striking out eight against Frederick on Labor Day. He has not given up a longball in his last 40 innings.
Florida State League
Alex Wimmers, Fort Myers
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K
The 21st overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Alex Wimmers' season had a nightmarish start and a magnificent finish. In his first outing April 11, he walked all six batters he faced, allowing four runs and uncorking three wild pitches without recording an out. On Saturday night, the 22-year-old right-hander tossed a seven-inning no-hitter, fanning five, in the second game of the Miracle's doubleheader at Jupiter. He faced the minimum, thanks to a double play and base stealer being thrown out, and lowered his season ERA from its infinite start to 4.20.
Mark Hardy, Fort Wayne
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K
Hardy, a 6-foot-4 left-hander out of British Columbia, was a workhorse for the TinCaps this season, going 11-10 in a team-high 129 1/3 innings while posting a 2.78 ERA -- fifth-best in the Midwest League. With Fort Wayne chasing the final playoff spot -- the TinCaps clinched it with a win at West Michigan on Monday, the last game of the regular season -- Hardy tossed seven scoreless frames against South Bend on Friday night. Hardy, a 43rd-round pick in 2010, has allowed seven hits over 13 shutout innings in his last two starts.
South Atlantic League
Zack Von Rosenberg, West Virginia
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K
The Louisiana-born Von Rosenberg wrapped up a sometimes-rocky first full season the best way possible on Friday night: by retiring all 18 batters he faced in six perfect innings. A sixth-round pick in 2009, the right-hander struck out six and saw just three batted balls get out of the infield. Von Rosenberg, who allowed one hit over six innings at Savannah July 20, finished the campaign 5-9 with a 5.73 ERA and ranked third in the Pirates organization with 114 strikeouts.
New York-Penn League
Seth Frankoff, Vermont
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 12 K
Frankoff earned New York-Penn League honors for the second consecutive week, and no wonder: he's allowed no runs while fanning 22 and walking one over 19 1/3 innings in his last three starts. With the Lake Monsters scrambling to earn their first playoff berth since 1996, Frankoff tossed a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against Connecticut -- the team Vermont was battling for first place -- on Monday, then held Tri-City to four hits over six shutout frames on Saturday. The 23-year-old right-hander will have a chance to continue his dominance, as the Lake Monsters captured the Stedler Division title on the final day of the season.
Chris Jensen, Tri-City
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K
A sixth-round pick out of San Diego in the June Draft, Jensen joined the Dust Devils on July 27 and was roughed up for six earned runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first two starts. The 20-year-old right-hander earned his first pro win Aug. 8 and has been sharp in his last eight starts, during which he's yielded just five earned runs in 31 innings. Jensen notched his second victory against Salem-Keizer on Saturday night, allowing four hits over seven scoreless frames. His seven innings and eight strikeouts were both career highs, and he lowered his season ERA to 2.65.
Benjamin Cornwell, Pulaski
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K
When the Mariners visited Greeneville last Tuesday, right-hander Benjamin Cornwell was making his second career start. The first one, on Aug. 25, had not gone well: he surrendered four unearned runs on two hits and two walks while recording one out. It was a much different story for the Georgia product on Tuesday as he held the host Astros to four hits over seven scoreless innings for his first professional victory. Cornwell, who had not previously pitched more than three innings in a pro game, fanned a career-high five.
Tyler Cravy, Helena
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K
Entering Saturday's matchup with first-half North Division champion Missoula, Cravy had gone winless in seven starts since July 15, when he fanned 12 Idaho Falls Chukars in just five innings. The Osprey fared little better against him Saturday as the 22-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits over six scoreless frames. Cravy, a 17th-round pick in 2009, struck out nine and did not walk a batter. He finished the Pioneer League campaign with 78 strikeouts -- third-most on the circuit -- in 63 innings.