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Pitchers of the Week

For the week ending June 3
June 4, 2012
International League
Terry Doyle, Charlotte
(2-0, 1.35 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 9 K)
A Rule 5 selection by the Minnesota Twins last winter, Doyle had a rough Spring Training and was returned to the White Sox in late March. It hasn't taken long for the 26-year-old right-hander to settle in with the Knights in his first Triple-A action -- he ranks 10th in the league in ERA and fifth in strikeouts while posting a 0.99 WHIP. In a Memorial Day matinee against Rochester, Doyle took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. On Saturday the Boston College product, who teaches math during the offseason, held host Gwinnett to two runs on four hits over six innings to record his fourth win in as many outings.

Pacific Coast League
Erasmo Ramirez, Tacoma
(2-0, 1.35 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 1/3 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 15 K)
Ramirez, who turned 22 in May, began the season in the Mariners bullpen and performed admirably, posting a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings in seven relief appearances. Needing to get more work, the Nicaraguan-born right-hander has been stretching out in the Tacoma rotation. He notched two wins this week, allowing a run apiece to Tucson on Monday and Sacramento on Saturday, while fanning 15. Though Ramirez has struggled in his road starts with the Rainiers (0-1, 7.15), he's been devastating at Cheney Stadium, with three wins in as many starts and a 0.98 ERA.
Tacoma's Ramirez gets his ninth strikeout

Eastern League
David Buchanan, Reading
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 5 K)
Buchanan held Portland to two hits while fanning nine over seven scoreless frames in his first outing of the season back on April 7, but had gone 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA and seven homers allowed in the eight starts since. The 23-year-old righty put the rough patch behind him with a nine-inning shutout on Memorial Day, scattering seven hits and a walk while striking out five. It was the second complete game and first shutout of Buchanan's career, earning him his second Double-A victory.

Southern League
Danny Hultzen, Jackson
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 5 BB, 11 K)
The second overall pick in last year's Draft (and No. 13 prospect in the Minors), Hultzen has not disappointed. Though the southpaw has issued his share of walks -- 30 over 62 1/3 innings -- Hultzen sports a 1.44 ERA and has held Southern League hitters to a .152 average in his 11 outings. A pair of scoreless starts this week earned him his third and fourth straight victories, as the University of Virginia product has allowed just two runs on 17 hits over 31 2/3 innings in his last five starts. The 22-year-old Hultzen leads the league in ERA and WHIP and ranks second in strikeouts.
Prospect Q&A: Danny Hultzen
Top prospects: Danny Hultzen

Texas League
Jose Cisnero, Corpus Christi
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
Cisnero hasn't won a game since April 24, but he did his best to earn the victory at Arkansas on Thursday, allowing one unearned run over seven innings in the Hooks' 5-2, 15-inning win. It was the 23-year-old right-hander's longest outing of the season, and his seven strikeouts gave him 57 (in 49 innings) on the season, most on the Hooks staff and sixth-most in the Texas League. If Cisnero can cut his walks -- he's issued 27, eighth-most on the circuit -- he'll be a force to be reckoned with.

California League
Josh Smith, Bakersfield
(2-0, 1.50 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 12 K)
The Cal League is a tough place for pitchers, where keeping the ball down and getting strikeouts is even more of an imperative than usual. Smith has been successful at both, holding Inland Empire to two runs over six innings on Monday before fanning nine Modesto Nuts in six scoreless frames on Saturday. The 24-year-old Reds prospect, a 21st-round pick in 2010, has allowed one home run in his last 40 innings and ranks sixth on the circuit with 63 strikeouts. In Saturday's outing -- Smith's third consecutive win -- he recorded eight groundball outs to go along with the nine punchouts without a single flyout.

Carolina League
Drake Britton, Salem
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
Britton suffered through a miserable Carolina League campaign in 2011, going 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA. The left-hander, who is the Red Sox's No. 13 prospect, didn't start off much better this year, allowing 19 earned runs over 12 1/3 innings in his first three outings. Britton bounced back with five scoreless, one-hit frames on April 25 for his first win, and held first-place Lynchburg to five hits while fanning seven over a season-high six shutout innings on Wednesday for his second consecutive victory. Noting the improvement, Boston has promoted the 23-year-old to Portland, where he'll make his Double-A debut this coming week.
Top prospects: Drake Britton

Florida State League
Jesse Biddle, Clearwater
(1-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 21 K)
After two rough starts in April -- back-to-back losses to Lakeland -- the 20-year-old Biddle has been outstanding. The Philadelphia native, whom the Phillies made the 27th overall pick in 2010, has allowed six earned runs while fanning 48 over his last 46 innings. This week Biddle struck out nine Tampa Yankees over seven innings in a no-decision on Tuesday, then fanned a career-high 12 while holding Palm Beach to four hits in seven shutout frames on Sunday afternoon. The southpaw No. 73 prospect ranks third in the FSL with 64 strikeouts and is tied for fifth with a 2.51 ERA.
Top prospects: Jesse Biddle

Midwest League
Tom Collier, West Michigan
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
Collier had a three-start stretch from April 28-May 9 during which he allowed no runs and just six hits over 18 innings, but failed to earn Pitcher of the Week honors. Undeterred, the 22-year-old right-hander went the distance at Lake County on Wednesday, holding the Captains to four hits and a walk over nine innings in the first shutout and complete game of his career. Lake County had torched Collier for six runs in 1 1/3 innings just five days earlier. Now 3-4 with a 2.60 ERA -- 12th best in the league -- Collier has surrendered just two earned runs and garnered all three of his victories over 30 innings in his five road starts.

South Atlantic League
Alex Gillingham, Asheville
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
Though he hadn't pitched since May 8 -- a loss despite yielding just a pair of unearned runs in seven innings -- Gillingham returned to overwhelm the Augusta GreenJackets on Friday, going the distance in the first nine-inning complete game of his career. Perhaps buoyed by the Stanley Cup success of his Kings, the 22-year-old Loyola Marymount product allowed one unearned run on five hits. Gillingham recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and induced 18 groundouts -- none of the 27 putouts in the game were recorded by the Asheville outfielders.

John Parker is a contributor to