Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending July 19:
Jesse Biddle, Lehigh Valley (PHI)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
Biddle has taken a winding road through the Phillies' Minor League system. Taken 27th overall in the 2010 Draft, the left-hander posted gaudy strikeout numbers in the lower Minors. He might have pitched for the IronPigs last year, but a concussion pushed him off his game early in the season and led to a necessary mental health break at midseason. Biddle returned and pitched well in the second half and has finally worked his way to Triple-A. After allowing seven earned runs in his debut on July 8, he rebounded with a dominant performance against Rochester on July 17, picking up his fist International League win.
Pacific Coast League
Hiram Burgos, Colorado Springs (MIL)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K)
The 27-year-old opened the season with Class A Advanced Brevard County but has returned to Triple-A and pitched well in the SkySox's rotation. The right-hander was outstanding in his one start last week, leading Colorado Springs to a 2-0 win over New Orleans. Burgos only needed 85 pitches to work his six scoreless frames and induced twice as many groundouts (six) as flyouts in his second Pacific Coast League win this season. Burgos is 7-5 with a 3.79 ERA in 18 starts across three levels this season.
Tyler Glasnow, Altoona (PIT)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K)
The sprained ankle that sidelined Glasnow earlier this season was poorly timed, as it shut the right-hander down at a moment when he was feeling his most capable as a pitcher. The 6-foot-8 fireballer has been striving for better fastball command throughout his career, and in April, he finally found it, only to land on the disabled list. After mixed results in his first few outings following the DL stint, Glasnow has regained the precision of his upper-90s fastball, which was bad news for Richmond, which lost to Glasnow and the Curve, 5-0, last week. The 21-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 Double-A starts and a 60-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Frankie Montas, Birmingham (CWS)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
It was a big week for Montas. The 22-year-old right-hander kicked things off with an appearance at the Futures Game in Cincinnati, then joined the White Sox in the big leagues for the first time as the 26th man for a doubleheader on Friday. He didn't make an appearance and was returned to Double-A on Saturday, but channeled the confidence gained from the experience to strike out eight over five scoreless innings in an 11-3 win over Pensacola on Sunday. "[Sunday,] I was motivated. I was wanted to show people that I can be up there. Every time I go out there, I try to do my best and good things are happening," Montas told MiLB.com. "I was feeling really, really good. I was excited and I just want to go back [to the Majors] and stay there."
Chris Anderson, Tulsa (LAD)
(1-0, 1.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
When Anderson finds the zone with his mid-90s fastball, there isn't much hitters can do with it. The right-hander was all over the strike zone in a 2-1 win over Arkansas last week, throwing 76 of his 104 pitches for strikes. Anderson has walked 3.8 batters per nine innings this season, but only two over his last 20 1/3 innings. That's a dramatic shift for Anderson, who issued 10 free passes in the 17 2/3 frames that preceded this recent stretch. The 2013 first-rounder (18th overall) is 9-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 17 starts with the Drillers this season.
Anthony Banda, Visalia (ARI)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
The 21-year-old southpaw leads the Rawhide in innings, strikeouts and complete games and nearly extended his lead in the latter last week. In his lone start at Rancho Cucamonga, Banda picked up his sixth win behind eight scoreless frames. The 2012 10th-round pick struck out seven, giving him 15 punchouts in his past 13 innings and 98 whiffs in 108 1/3 frames on the season. Banda is 6-7 with a 3.82 ERA this year.
Ariel Miranda, Frederick (BAL)
(1-0, 0.82 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 13 K)
The Orioles signed the 26-year-old Cuban defector in May, giving the left-hander roughly $800,000, according to reports. He made one start in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in June before jumping to Class A Advanced Frederick, where he's 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in five starts. His two outings last week were his best yet. First, he struck out seven and allowed just one earned run in a 3-1 win over Salem, then struck out six over six hitless frames in a 6-0 win over Potomac. "The very first day I saw him, the thing that stood out was his nice, loose arm," Keys pitching coach Kennie Steenstra told MiLB.com. "The ball just comes out easy. It's 90-94 [mph], but it looks effortless.
Florida State League
Brent Honeywell, Charlotte (TB)
(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, 0 BB, 9 K)
The 20-year-old tightened up his screwball last week, using the pitch often while spinning a complete-game in a 3-0 win over Tampa. It was a nice turnaround for Honeywell, who entered with a 6.97 ERA in his first four Class A Advanced starts after posting a 2.91 mark in 12 starts with Class A Bowling Green. As Honeywell discussed on The Show Before the Show podcast in early July, he's working this year on establishing the rest of his repertoire beyond the screwball and fastball. He'd lost some feel for the screwgie in the process, but rediscovered it for last week's gem. "The screwball, it's a pitch in the arsenal," he told MiLB.com. "It just hasn't been the same as it was last year. I've been working with that a lot. I've been busting my ass. I haven't been having the year that I wanted. Now I've got some results to go with what I've been doing off the field."
Yonny Chirinos, Bowling Green (TB)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 4 K)
The 21-year-old right-hander has stepped into the Hot Rods rotation in Honeywell's absence and performed admirably. Chirinos has made two starts with Bowling Green this month and thrown 11 scoreless frames, striking out eight and scattering three hits. He allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings in a 4-2 win over West Michigan last week. "Tonight was actually better than his first time out in that he located his fastball much better in and out, up and down," Bowling Green pitching coach Bill Moloney told MiLB.com. "He kept the fastball down, but for me tonight, the big difference was he threw some more sliders than he did in his last game. We wanted to get them involved early, and it worked out really well for him."
South Atlantic League
Pedro Fernandez, Lexington (KC)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
The Royals have the 21-year-old right-hander repeating Class A, but he's been a whole new pitcher the second time around and put together his best start yet in a 7-4 win over Delmarva. Legends pitching coach Carlos Reyes said Fernandez regularly pumps his fastball into the mid-90s, but the difference against the Shorebirds was his command. "He did a lot of good things," Reyes told MiLB.com. "He got ahead and threw strikes, especially with the fastball. … He was throwing it for strikes and getting ahead in counts, then throwing the slider for strikes, the changeup, mixing his pitches. He baffled them for six innings."
New York-Penn League
Juan Perez, State College (STL)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
Perez has struck out roughly a batter per inning at each of his first three Minor League stops, but had just nine punchouts in his first 19 2/3 frames with State College this season. He improved that strikeout rate last week, retiring 10 batters on strikes over seven frames in an 8-0 win over Batavia. That total established a new career high for the 19-year-old Venezuelan, who needed just 85 pitches to get through his seven frames. Perez has a 2.70 ERA and 3-1 record over five starts with the Spikes.
Cody Reed, Hillsboro (ARI)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
So rare are base hits against Reed these days that he's started giving handshakes congratulating batters skilled enough to earn one. After Cubs prospect Ian Happ doubled to snap Reed's perfect game bid in the seventh inning last week, Reed headed out to second to shake Happ's hand. The 2014 second-rounder has scattered seven hits over his past 19 innings, posting a 25-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio while slimming his ERA this season to 1.31 in six starts. "I wasn't really expecting this (success)," he told MiLB.com. "I was just telling myself to go out there and pitch the way I've always pitched, and if it works, it works."
Nick Wells, Bluefield (TOR)
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K)
Toronto's third-round pick from the 2014 Draft got off to shaky start with Bluefield this summer, letting his ERA balloon to 6.35 through his first four starts. He shaved nearly two runs off the mark last week, though, tossing six innings in the Blue Jays' 7-0 win over the Bristol Pirates. Wells established a new career high with eight strikeouts and now has 24 punchouts in 23 innings this season. He also picked up his first win this season and just the second of his pro career in the Bristol shutout.
Tanner Banks, Great Falls (CWS)
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 1 K)
The 2014 18th-round pick spent some time with Class A Kannapolis earlier this season, posting a 4.09 ERA in eight relief appearances. He's since jumped back to the Rookie-level Pioneer League but also into a pro rotation. In five starts, he has a 1.37 ERA and nearly twice as many groundouts as flyouts. Banks has a 58 percent ground-ball rate, according to MLBFarm.com, and has yet to allow a home run in his 61 2/3 pro innings over the past two seasons. The 23-year-old picked up 10 groundouts in his one outing last week, a 6-2 win over Ogden.