Pitchers of the Week

For the week ending August 13

(Dan Cichalski)

August 14, 2006 12:40 PM

International League
Brian Mazone, Scranton/WB
2-0, 0.61 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
Mazone was in the zone on the mound this week, as the 30-year-old lefty earned a pair of victories for the red-hot Red Barons. On Tuesday, Mazone hurled seven shutout innings against Syracuse. Five days later, he yielded a run over seven frames against Pawtucket. The native of California is now 11-2 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and his 2.05 ERA ranks second in the International League.

Pacific Coast League
Robinson Tejeda, Oklahoma
2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 21 SO
Tejeda picked up a pair of wins this week, and has now gone 11 straight starts without a loss. On Monday against Tucson, the red-hot RedHawk allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings. Six days later, he surrendered a run over five frames as Oklahoma defeated Round Rock. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Tejada's spectacular week were his strikeout totals. The righty struck out a season-high 11 on Monday, and 10 more on Sunday. He has now whiffed 79 batters over 80 innings pitched for the RedHawks this season.

Eastern League
Phil Hughes, Trenton
2-0, 0.90 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 15 SO
The most highly touted pitching prospect in the New York Yankees' farm system, Hughes' stock just keeps on rising. The 20-year-old -- who has not lost a game since June 8 -- earned two wins this week. On Tuesday against Binghamton, he allowed a run on two hits over five innings while striking out six. Five days later, the righty hurled five shutout frames while striking out nine as the Thunder defeated New Hampshire. Hughes has struck out 121 batters over 101 innings pitched this season, and opponents are batting just .191 against him.

Southern League
Dan Smith, Mississippi
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 17 SO
On Tuesday against Montgomery, Smith was a strikeout machine. The 22-year-old southpaw whiffed 12 over six innings en route to earning his third victory with the Braves. He followed that up by hurling five shutout frames against Huntsville on Sunday but had to settle for a no-decision as the Stars rallied for a 7-6 win. Smith has struck out 76 batters over just 49 innings pitched with Braves, and opponents are batting a paltry .194 against him.

Texas League
Billy Buckner, Wichita
2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 9 SO
Buckner has earned a victory in four of his past five outings and picked up two wins this week alone. On Monday, the 22-year-old Georgian allowed two hits over seven shutout frames as the Wranglers coasted to victory over San Antonio. Five days later, the righty allowed one run over six frames as Wichita defeated Corpus Christi. Both of Buckner's victories came on the road; just two of his nine starts have taken place in Wichita.

California League
Doug Mathis, Bakersfield
2-0, 2.25 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 12 SO
Mathis has picked up a victory in each of his past six starts, and his 10 wins are tied for the second most in the California League. On Monday against Modesto, the 23-year-old allowed a run over five innings while striking out five. Five days later against Stockton, he surrendered two runs over seven frames while fanning seven. Since May 18, Mathis has lost just one start.

Carolina League
Ryan Knippschild, Kinston
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO
Knippschild was nearly unhittable out of the bullpen this week, as the 23-year-old allowed just two hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings and picked up a pair of victories. The lefty struck out eight batters over this span, and did not issue a walk. In the month of August, opposing batters are hitting a meager .074 against Knippschild.

Florida State League
Anthony Swarzak, Fort Myers
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO
Swarzak started just one game this week, and it was a real beauty. On Friday against Sarasota, the righty allowed three hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings while striking out a season-high 11 batters. The win was Swarzak's eighth of the season, and the native Floridian is 5-1 with a 2.20 ERA at his home ballpark.

Midwest League
Alexander Smit, Beloit
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO
On Thursday against Fort Worth, Smit was masterful. The 20-year-old from the Netherlands struck out 12 over seven shutout innings, and William Venable's seventh-inning single was the only base hit he allowed. Smit is 4-0 since moving into the Snappers' rotation on June 28, and he has struck out 109 batters over 84 1/3 innings pitched this season.

South Atlantic League
Jeffrey Stevens, Lake County
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 14 SO
Stevens must have felt a sense of déjà vu this week, as he turned in a pair of eerily similar starts. On Monday against Augusta, the 22-year-old struck out seven over six shutout innings. He did the same thing five days later against Hickory. The only difference between Stevens' two outings was that he earned a win against Augusta but had to settle for a no-decision against the Crawdads.

New York-Penn League
Patrick Bresnahan, Williamsport
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 13.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO
Bresnahan started the season in the Crosscutters' starting rotation, where he went 0-5 over eight starts and never lasted more than five innings. He made two relief appearances this week -- and both were longer than any of his starts. Go figure. On Tuesday, the 21-year-old pitched the final six innings of Williamsport's 8-2 win over Auburn. Five days later, the righty hurled seven shutout frames in a game the Crosscutters eventually lost, 2-1, in 15 innings.

Northwest League
Adam Cowart, Salem-Keizer
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO
Cowart tossed 11 2/3 scoreless innings this week and picked up two victories. That's a typical week for the 22-year-old, who is 8-0 with a 0.29 ERA over 61 2/3 innings pitched this season. Over three starts in August, Cowart has yielded just one unearned run over 17 2/3 innings. To put it simply: the guy is unstoppable.

Appalachian League
Tyler Herron, Johnson City
2-0, 0.71 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO
Herron has won his past four decisions after losing his first five. On Monday against Burlington, the 20-year-old allowed three hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out five. Six days later, the streaky right-hander surrendered three runs -- one earned -- on seven hits while striking out a season-high seven batters.

Pioneer League
Brandon Hynick, Casper
0-0, 1.59 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO
Hynick didn't factor into a decision this week, but it certainly wasn't for lack of effort. On Monday against Idaho Falls, the 21-year-old righty allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings while striking out six. He was even better on Saturday against Ogden, tossing six shutout innings while striking out seven. Hynick ranks second in the Pioneer League in ERA (1.87), while his 60 strikeouts lead the circuit.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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