Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending July 28:
J.D. Martin, Durham
(2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
The 30-year-old Martin has never been a big strikeout pitcher, but he's been a good pitcher for a long time and is having one of the best seasons of his 13-year-career. The 30-year-old right-hander leads the Minor Leagues with 13 wins -- aided by the fact that Durham has the best record in the Minors -- and ranks fifth in Triple-A with a 2.76 ERA. It was more of the same for Martin and the Bulls last week: two games, one earned run, two wins. Martin went 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA in five July starts and needs one more victory to tie his personal high, set with Class A Columbus in 2002.
Pacific Coast League
Brian Flynn, New Orleans
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 16 K)
Flynn, whom the Marlins acquired from Detroit in the Anibal Sanchez deal a year ago, has a lot going for him: he's 6-foot-7, left-handed and can strike out a batter per inning. Despite an ugly 4-10 record with the last-place Zephyrs, he's having a tremendous debut season at Triple-A. The 23-year-old ranks fourth in the PCL in both ERA and strikeouts and has allowed just six home runs in 18 starts despite having to pitch in places like Albuquerque. That was the scene of his outing Sunday, where he held the Isotopes to four hits over seven scoreless frames. He'd previously tossed 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run at Iowa on Tuesday -- striking out nine while allowing three hits -- but earned no decision. Flynn began the season as the Marlins' No. 19 prospect; he's already up to No. 10 and rising fast.
Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton
(2-0, 2.45 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 15 K)
It's been a busy season for Syndergaard, whom the Mets acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade last winter. He's made the jump to Double-A, started the Futures Game and assumed the mantle of top Mets Minor League pitching prospect after Zack Wheeler was promoted to the Majors. The 20-year-old right-hander seems to be handling it all with great aplomb. Last week he won two games to improve to 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven Eastern League starts and tossed six one-hit frames while fanning eight against Trenton on Sunday.
Scott Snodgress, Birmingham
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 7 BB, 7 K)
Snodgress is the top left-handed prospect in the White Sox system, and after a bumpy stretch in early June, the Stanford product has shown ample reason for that designation. Last Monday the 23-year-old took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Chattanooga, then five days later held Mobile scoreless for six innings to improve to 11-7. Snodgress' strikeout-to-walk ratio is underwhelming -- he's fanned 71 and walked 42 in 116 innings this season -- but in four July starts he's allowed one run on 14 hits over 27 1/3 frames.
Aaron Brooks, NW Arkansas
(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, 5 K)
On July 19, Brooks gave up 13 hits and two walks over six frames against Springfield, yet still earned his fourth Texas League victory. On Tuesday he made it a little easier, tossing a four-hitter while fanning five and issuing no free passes. The Cal State San Bernardino product needed 96 pitches -- 71 for strikes -- to complete his first career shutout. Brooks ranks second among Royals Minor League starters with 113 2/3 innings pitched and a walks-per-nine-innings ratio of 1.4.
Clayton Blackburn, San Jose
(1-0, 1.13 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
After a solid start to his first Class A Advanced campaign, Blackburn struggled in May, posting a 6.93 ERA in five starts. Following a modest recovery in June, the 20-year-old right-hander has been dominant in July, going 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA and holding Cal League hitters to a .170 average over four starts. Last week Blackburn won his third straight decision, holding host Lancaster to one run on three hits over eight frames. Blackburn ranks second in the Giants organization and fourth in the Cal League with 113 strikeouts in 103 innings.
Mike Augliera, Salem
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 1 K)
Augliera captured Carolina League honors for the second time in July: three weeks ago he tossed eight scoreless frames at Carolina; Friday night he held visiting Frederick to a pair of hits over seven shutout innings. A fifth-round pick out of Binghamton in 2012, Augliera's first full season has been up and down, but he hasn't allowed a home run in his last six outings and owns a 3.75 ERA -- down from 4.63 -- in the second half of the season.
Florida State League
Kyle Drabek, Dunedin
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 9 K)
Back in 2009, Drabek went 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 Florida State League outings on his way to Double-A. He didn't want to be back in the league at age 25, but he's making the best of it after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career in June 2012. The Blue Jays right-hander, once one of the top prospects in the game, is slowly but surely building up his innings -- after allowing one hit over 3 2/3 frames Monday, Drabek struck out six over 4 2/3 hitless innings Saturday. In 20 2/3 innings overall, Drabek has fanned 20, walked three and held FSL hitters to a .192 average.
Preston Gainey, Wisconsin
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 1 K)
Before last week, Gainey was probably best known for eschewing his final two years at the U.S. Naval Academy to sign a contract with the Brewers. On Wednesday, he had his sharpest outing as a pro, holding visiting Clinton to one hit over seven scoreless innings in Wisconsin's 9-1 win. Though Gainey sports a 6.28 ERA and has fanned just 43 while walking 37 over 67 1/3 innings, the 22-year-old right-hander has won his last three decisions and held Midwest League hitters to a .218 mark in July.
South Atlantic League
Christian Binford, Lexington
(2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 17 K)
Though just a 30th-round pick by the Royals in 2011, Binford has been one of the best pitchers in the Sally League in his first full season. After a pair of wins last week -- he fanned a career-high 12 over six shutout innings against West Virginia on Sunday -- the 20-year-old right-hander leads the league in innings pitched (109 1/3), ranks second in ERA (1.89) and is third in strikeouts (111) and WHIP (1.05). Binford has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last 17 starts.
New York-Penn League
Jamie Callahan, Lowell
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
The Red Sox's second-round pick in 2012, Callahan pitched brilliantly in his season debut June 21, allowing one hit over five scoreless innings. The next four outings were rougher -- the 19-year-old South Carolina native was charged with 14 runs in 16 2/3 frames. Callahan bounced back strongly at Connecticut on Friday, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning before surrendering a leadoff single in that frame. He set career marks with both six innings pitched and eight strikeouts.
Lars Huijer, Everett
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 7 K)
A 19-year-old native of the Netherlands, Huijer was solid as a reliever with Pulaski in the Appalachian League last summer but seems to have made a leap forward in the past year. The right-hander is tied for the league lead with six wins, ranks second in ERA (1.85) and WHIP (0.87) and fifth in strikeouts (38). On Thursday Huijer won his fourth straight game, allowing one hit over seven scoreless innings to extend his personal shutout streak to 15 innings.
Jose Flores, Pulaski
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 9 K)
Coming off his two worst outings of the season -- seven runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings in a pair of starts against Johnson City -- Flores responded with his finest game of the year against Princeton on Thursday. The 20-year-old right-hander fanned a season-high nine Rays over six scoreless, one-hit innings to improve to 3-0. Flores is holding Appy League hitters to a .202 average overall, with right-handed hitters posting a .183 mark.
Hobbs Johnson, Helena
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 SV, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
Johnson, a 14th-round pick out of the University of North Carolina last month, pitched only four innings this week, but they were all but perfect. He faced seven batters at Ogden on Monday, allowing one hit and fanning four, and recorded his first professional save Saturday after retiring all six Missoula hitters he faced, two via strikeout.