Pitchers of the Week06/17/2013 4:34 PM ET
By John Parker / MLB.com
Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending June 16:
J.D. Martin, Durham
(2-0, 1.32 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 2/3 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 9 K)
While younger Rays prospects like Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer get more attention (and occasional big league spot starts), Martin has quietly been the backbone of first-place Durham's pitching staff. The 30-year-old right-hander doesn't have the best peripheral stats -- he's fanned just 56 and allowed 11 home runs over a team-high 84 innings -- but he's 9-3 in his 14 starts and leads the Bulls rotation with a 2.89 ERA. After suffering a loss at Indianapolis on June 5, despite allowing just an unearned run, Martin cruised to a pair of victories last week, the second time getting revenge on the Indians. Only two IL pitchers have more than six victories and none have as many as Martin's nine.
Pacific Coast League
Chris Heston, Fresno
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 9 K)
After being named the Double-A Eastern League's Pitcher of the Year in 2012, Chris Heston's introduction to the PCL has been difficult. The Giants' No. 8 prospect came into last Thursday's start against Tucson with a 5.72 ERA and having lost three straight decisions. Fourteen days after yielding five runs over four innings to the Padres, Heston fired a complete-game five-hitter for his first career shutout. The 25-year-old right-hander improved to 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA at home, but needs to duplicate that success on the road, where he is 1-2 with an 8.07 mark.
Taylor Jordan, Harrisburg
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 11 K)
In 15 starts for Class A Short-Season Auburn and Class A Hagerstown last season, Jordan went 3-7 with a 5.13 ERA. In 13 outings this year, the 24-year-old righty is 7-1 with a 0.93 mark, and has been even more dominant since joining the Senators on May 12. Jordan has yet to allow more than a single earned run in seven Double-A appearances and capped an amazing first month in the Eastern League with his first career nine-inning shutout against Richmond on Thursday. The Nationals' No. 17 prospect took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and fanned a career-high 11 batters to improve to 5-0 in the EL.
Senators' Jordan strikes out Parker
Duke von Schamann, Chattanooga
(0-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 14 K)
A 15th-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2012, von Schamann made one start for the Lookouts last season (and won it). Though he started the 2013 campaign with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, it didn't take him long to return to the Southern League after parlaying an aggressive approach into an 8-2 record in 11 Cal League starts. The 6-foot-5 right-hander fanned 10 over six frames in his first outing for Chattanooga on Monday, then tossed six scoreless innings at Huntsville on Sunday. Over 12 Southern League innings, von Schamann has allowed six hits for a .150 batting average against.
Roy Oswalt, Tulsa
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
Last week saw the veteran Oswalt capture his third career Texas League Pitcher of the Week award -- and first since July 30, 2000 (he also won the May 25, 2000, award after fanning 15 in his debut for Round Rock), in what is almost certainly the widest gap between wins in the league's history. The 35-year-old right-hander only struck out seven this time, going 8 1/3 scoreless innings at Arkansas on Friday night to improve to 3-2 in five starts with Tulsa. It may be another long while before Oswalt earns Texas League honors, as he's expected to be called up to Colorado this week.
Tulsa's Oswalt strikes out Grichuk
Daniel Winkler, Modesto
(1-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 3 HBP, 2 BB, 16 K)
Winkler put together a solid full-season debut with Asheville last year, going 11-10 with a 4.46 ERA and 136 strikeouts over 145 1/3 innings for the Tourists. He's been utterly dominant after taking a step up to the Cal League this season -- he leads the league in wins (nine), ERA (2.15), strikeouts (98), WHIP (0.81) and innings (83 2/3) while allowing just 47 hits for a .163 average against. The 23-year-old right-hander did not get a decision at San Jose on Monday despite yielding a single run on three hits over seven frames. Five days later he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, ultimately allowing one hit in seven scoreless innings as Modesto topped Bakersfield, 6-4. Over 26 2/3 innings in his last four starts, Winkler has given up only nine hits and four walks while fanning 32.
A.J. Cole, Potomac
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
Though Taylor Jordan has departed for Double-A Harrisburg, Potomac still has plenty of talent left on its staff, including Cole, whom the Nationals liked so much they acquired him twice. The 21-year-old right-hander has won each of his last three starts while fanning 29 batters over 18 1/3 frames. After striking out a career-high 11 against Frederick on June 8, Cole thwarted the Keys again Thursday with 10 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings to earn his second Carolina League Pitcher of the Week award this season. He ranks second in the league in strikeouts behind teammate Robbie Ray.
Florida State League
Hoby Milner, Clearwater
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
A seventh-round pick out of the University of Texas last year, Milner got off to a brutal start to his first full season, posting a 7.40 ERA in five April starts. After going 3-0 in May, the 22-year-old southpaw has allowed two runs on nine hits over 21 2/3 innings in his last three outings, capped by a gem against St. Lucie on Wednesday in which he allowed one hit in 7 2/3 frames. Milner has now won six consecutive decisions and ranks second in the league with 72 strikeouts.
Jeff Ames, Bowling Green
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 4 K)
Ames, the Rays' No. 13 prospect had already won this award twice (on April 22 and May 20), but began the week having gone nearly a month since his last win. The 22-year-old right-hander had his Tuesday start cut short by rain after one hitless inning and came back four days later to hold host Lansing without a hit for five innings in the Hot Rods' 5-1 win. Now 6-1 with a 2.47 ERA and three Pitcher of the Week nods, Ames ranks second in the league with a 0.91 WHIP.
South Atlantic League
Matt Flemer, Asheville
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 K)
Flemer posted an impressive 2.12 ERA as a reliever in the Northwest League last summer after being selected by the Rockies in the 27th round. Transitioning to a starting role, the 22-year-old right-hander joined the Tourists on May 26 and surrendered 23 hits over 14 2/3 innings in his first three outings. The fourth time was the charm, however, as Flemer held host Savannah to two hits and a walk over 7 2/3 scoreless frames Tuesday. Asheville went on to lose, 1-0, in 11 innings, but Flemer is clearly settling in to his new surroundings after the longest and strongest outing of his career.