Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending April 14:
Adam Morgan, Lehigh Valley
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 4 K)
Entering the season having made just six appearances above Class A Advanced, Morgan is making himself right at home in the International League. After allowing two runs in six innings against Syracuse on April 6, the Phillies' No. 7 prospect held the Chiefs to three hits over eight scoreless frames Saturday to earn his first Triple-A victory. The 23-year-old southpaw also got his first pro hit and RBI in the game and finished his outing by retiring the final eight batters he faced.
Pacific Coast League
Brad Mills, Round Rock
(2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 9 K)
This season is Mills' fifth in the PCL, where he owns a 4.58 ERA over 81 outings (79 starts) with Las Vegas, Salt Lake and Round Rock. His first two outings with the Express have been among his best, as the 28-year-old southpaw has allowed just seven hits in 13 innings and held visiting Iowa to a pair of hits over seven scoreless frames Thursday. After allowing PCL batters to hit .306 at Salt Lake last year, he's given up just seven hits in 45 at-bats (.156) to kick off his 2013 campaign.
Chris Martin, Portland
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 12 K))
Signed as a free agent by the Red Sox in 2011, Martin had mixed results with Portland last season, his first in Double-A. After posting a 5.13 ERA in 12 early-season starts, the 6-foot-7 right-hander was more effective out of the bullpen in August, recording a 3.04 mark in 11 outings. Working long relief for the Sea Dogs this season, Martin has made a trio of three-inning appearances, allowing just four singles and a pair of walks while fanning 12 over nine scoreless frames. He's been particularly hard on right-handed batters, who are 2-for-18 (.111) against him.
Hector Noesi, Jackson
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 12 K)
Noesi spent 2012 with Triple-A Tacoma and the big league Mariners and was roughed up in both places, going a combined 4-18 in 33 appearances. Back in Double-A for the first time in three years, the 26-year-old Noesi seems to have rediscovered the form that made him a Futures Game selection in 2010. Noesi tossed six scoreless frames at Jacksonville on April 6 and came back with seven strikeouts over five shutout innings against Montgomery on Friday. The work has already paid off, as Noesi was promoted to Tacoma on Sunday.
Noesi strikes out Jacksonville's Canha
Burch Smith, San Antonio
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 13 K)
Smith led the Padres organization with 137 strikeouts while pitching for Lake Elsinore last year and has begun his Double-A career with a pair of impressive scoreless outings. San Diego's No. 20 prospect, the 23-year-old Smith has fanned 13 while walking one in two starts against the Tulsa Drillers. Along with the strikeouts, the University of Oklahoma product has recorded 14 groundouts and three flyouts. Smith surrendered only 11 home runs in the offensive-minded Cal League last season, testament to his ability to keep the ball down.
Archie Bradley, Visalia
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 3 BB, 19 K)
The Minors No. 24 overall prospect, Bradley is proving just as hard to hit this year as he was last season, when he held the Midwest League to a .181 average. Bradley is on track early to better his strikeout rate from last season -- he fanned 152 over 136 frames -- while dramatically cutting his walk rate. After walking 84 last year, the 20-year-old right-hander has issued just three free passes while striking out 19 in his first two Cal League outings. Though still winless, Bradley struck out 10 over six shutout innings against Bakersfield on Wednesday and ranks fifth in the Minors in strikeouts despite having made just two starts.
Kyle Smith, Wilmington
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 6 BB, 14 K)
A fourth-round pick in 2011, Smith began the 2013 campaign as the Royals' No. 15 prospect. The 20-year-old has made just 16 full-season appearances and is on a tight pitch count, but the results have been more than encouraging. Smith has fanned 14 in just 8 1/3 innings and has yet to allow a run. The Blue Rocks would no doubt like to see his walk rate decline -- he's issued six free passes -- but it's hard to argue with a 0.00 ERA.
Florida State League
Ryan Searle, Daytona
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 10 K)
Working in long relief for Daytona, the Australian-born Searle has been supremely stingy when dealing with Florida State League hitters -- he's allowed three hits and one walk over 8 1/3 shutout innings. The 23-year-old is an FSL veteran -- he was a league midseason All-Star while pitching in the D-Cubs' rotation in 2009 -- looking to reboot his career in the bullpen, with strong results thus far.
Joseph Ross, Fort Wayne
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 12 K)
The Padres' No. 13 prospect, Ross was roughed up in a handful of appearances with the TinCaps last year, posting a 6.26 ERA in six starts. He's returned to the Midwest League with a vengeance in 2013, opening the campaign with 10 scoreless innings and a pair of victories. Ross, who turns 20 next month, set a career mark with eight strikeouts against Lake County Thursday. The 2011 first-round pick (25th overall) is the younger brother of Tyson Ross, who now pitches for the big league Padres.
South Atlantic League
Tyler Smith, Hickory
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 9 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 8 K)
Smith appeared in just one game last summer after being selected by the Rangers in the 19th round of the June Draft, and it didn't go well -- he gave up two runs while recording two outs. The 21-year-old's first full-season experience is going much more smoothly, as Smith has yet to allow an earned run in three relief appearances for the Crawdads. The South Carolina native has struck out eight and allowed just four hits in 32 at-bats, good for a .125 average against.