Pitchers of the Week07/08/2013 1:00 PM ET
By John Parker / MiLB.com
Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending July 7:
Steven Wright, Pawtucket
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 16 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 7 BB, 9 K)
If Steven Wright hasn't quite mastered the knuckleball, he and the pitch at least came to an accommodation last week. The 28-year-old hurler tossed a seven-hit shutout of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, then held host Rochester to a pair of hits over seven scoreless frames Saturday. The shutout was the third of Wright's career and second since adopting the knuckleball. He induced 14 groundball outs from the RailRiders, got four double plays and needed just 96 pitches over the nine innings.
Pacific Coast League
Tyler Lyons, Memphis
(1-0, 1.80 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 15 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 18 K)
After making six big league starts for the Cardinals, Lyons returned to Memphis on June 25 and tossed seven one-hit innings. The left-hander's next two starts were nearly as good. Lyons again pitched seven scoreless frames against Iowa on Monday, this time allowing two hits while striking out nine. He fanned nine more against Nashville on Sunday, but allowed three runs on two hits -- one of them a three-run homer. Over 23 innings since his return to the PCL, Lyons has allowed five hits and three walks while fanning 22.
Drew VerHagen, Erie
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 17 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
A fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2012, VerHagen began the season with Class A Advanced Lakeland, where he went 5-2 with a 2.81 ERA. Though the 22-year-old right-hander didn't strike out many batters -- just 35 in 67 1/3 FSL frames -- he also allowed only 49 hits. Those trends have continued since his promotion to Double-A with VerHagen allowing 14 hits and fanning 16 over 27 1/3 innings with Erie. He picked up his first two Eastern League wins last week, tossing eight three-hit frames (with two strikeouts) against Harrisburg on Monday, then going the distance in a three-hit shutout at Altoona on Saturday. Through four starts, EL batters are hitting .154 off the Tigers prospect.
Andy Moye, Huntsville
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 2 K)
Moye had lost each of his previous three starts heading into Wednesday's matchup with Chattanooga. The right-hander rebounded strongly against the Lookouts, taking a no-hitter into the ninth before yielding a one-out single in the Stars' 2-0 win. The 8 1/3 frames were a career-high for the 25-year-old Moye, who has now earned Pitcher of the Week honors in each of the four leagues in which he's pitched: Pioneer, Midwest, Florida State and Southern.
Matt Wisler, San Antonio
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 K)
A seventh-round pick in 2011, Wisler had the misfortune of posting an infinite ERA that season: in one appearance for the AZL Padres, he allowed four runs on two hits and two walks without getting an out. Wisler's career has improved infinitely since then -- he went 5-4 with a 2.53 ERA in the Midwest League in 2012 and was 2-1 with a 2.03 mark in six Cal League starts before joining the Missions in May. The 20-year-old right-hander had his strongest Double-A outing at Tulsa on Wednesday, allowing two hits and one walk over six shutout frames. After giving up five homers in his first five Texas League starts, Wisler has not allowed a long ball in his last five outings.
Edwin Escobar, San Jose
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 14 K)
Escobar's 2.96 ERA for Class A Augusta last year was fourth-best in the Giants organization. After moving to the hitter-friendly Cal League this season, Escobar has been even better, posting a 2.89 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old southpaw surrendered two unearned runs at Modesto on Monday, fanning eight over six frames, before tossing a season-high seven scoreless innings against Lake Elsinore on Sunday. Escobar ranks third in the league in ERA and fifth in strikeouts despite pitching fewer innings than anyone in the top 15.
Mike Augliera, Salem
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
On June 4, Augliera had the worst outing of his career, allowing eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits while recording one out. On July 4, the 23-year-old right-hander had his best-ever game, allowing four hits over a career-long eight scoreless frames at Carolina. Augliera's seven strikeouts were a season-high, and he did not walk a batter. After yielding a .303 average against in the first half of the season, Augliera has held Carolina League hitters to a .206 mark in three second-half starts.
Florida State League
Matthew Summers, Fort Myers
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
With his strong first-half performance, Summers earned a promotion to Double-A New Britain in late June. It didn't go well, as the 23-year-old righty gave up six earned runs on 11 hits over seven innings in three appearances. Though he returned to Fort Myers on Sunday, he may not be back in the FSL for very long. Summers tossed a two-hit shutout at St. Lucie, striking out seven without walking a batter, in his second career complete game. The UC Irvine product had not pitched more than seven innings in any of his previous outings this season.
Brad Allen, South Bend
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 9 K)
Allen went undrafted after both high school and college, but he's been making the most of the opportunity the D-backs gave him when they signed him out of the Frontier League. Though his performance with the Silver Hawks has been up and down -- he owns a 5.29 ERA -- last week was very much up, as the 24-year-old right-hander tossed seven one-hit frames against Fort Wayne on Tuesday followed by 7 2/3 two-hit innings at Dayton on Sunday. He fanned nine, walked three and did not allow a run in either outing to earn his third and fourth Minor League victories.
South Atlantic League
Daniel Stumpf, Lexington
(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, 1 BB, 3 K)
Back in April, Stumpf tossed back-to-back scoreless starts against Greenville to earn his first two victories of the season. He welcomed the Drive back to Lexington Tuesday by tossing the second individual no-hitter in team history as the Legends prevailed, 1-0, in the first game of a doubleheader. The 22-year-old lefty struck out three and walked one. Stumpf is 5-1 with a 1.64 ERA in nine starts at home, with three of those wins coming against Greenville.
New York-Penn League
Carlos Valdez, Brooklyn
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K)
After a pair of tough outings against Aberdeen, Valdez's first start against Brooklyn's archrival Staten Island turned out to be a gem. The 22-year-old left-hander allowed three hits over six scoreless innings Wednesday as the Cyclones topped the Yankees, 2-1, in 10 innings. Valdez struck out five and walked one to help give Brooklyn its only win against Staten Island in five tries this season.
Yoimer Camacho, Hillsboro
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 4 BB, 8 K)
Camacho had not pitched more than a single inning in any of his first six appearances of the season, all of which came in relief. Called upon to make a spot start at Eugene on Wednesday, the 23-year-old right-hander went five scoreless frames, allowing one hit, to earn the victory as the Hops improved to 3-11 on the road. Four days later, he came out of the bullpen to throw three scoreless innings in Hillsboro's 5-4 win over visiting Vancouver. Camacho is now 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA in eight outings.
German Marquez, Princeton
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
The 18-year-old Marquez has just three stateside games under his belt, but he seems to be improving with each outing. A right-hander from Venezuela, Marquez struck out seven while allowing two hits over five scoreless innings against Pulaski on Sunday. He did not walk a batter and has yet to allow a home run -- perhaps because he is inducing groundball outs at about three times the rate of flyouts.
Felipe Perez, Missoula
(2-0, 0.53 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 17 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
Complete games are rare at any level in the Minors but especially so in rookie and short-season leagues, where teams are particularly careful with young arms. Perez's feat Monday was impressive in that he needed just 83 pitches -- 58 of them for strikes -- to go the distance in a three-hit shutout of visiting Helena. The undrafted California native "only" went eight innings on Saturday, allowing one run on five hits while fanning a career-high six at Billings.