Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending Aug. 3:
Tyler Cloyd, Columbus
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
Cloyd was one of the best pitchers in the International League in 2012, going 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA for Lehigh Valley. The right-hander, now 27, hasn't been able to reproduce that success at the Triple-A or Major League level in the last two seasons, but he went a long way toward it on Wednesday, tossing a nine-inning no-hitter for the Clippers. All that stood between Cloyd and a perfect game was a lead-off hit batsman in the ninth, but a double play allowed the Indians farmhand to face the minimum 27 batters in the gem.
Columbus' Cloyd completes no-hitter
Pacific Coast League
Tyler Lyons, Memphis
(2-0, 0.56 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 2 CG, 1 SHO, 16 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K)
The Redbirds gave Lyons the ball twice last week and he refused to give it back, posting complete-game wins at Omaha on Tuesday (nine innings, one run, four hits) and Round Rock in the opening game of a doubleheader Sunday (seven innings, no runs, four hits). The 26-year-old lefty has won four straight games --while allowing just four earned runs over 28 innings -- for Memphis. In that four-game stretch, Lyons has fanned 22 and walked one while holding PCL hitters to a .206 average.
Zach Davies, Bowie
(2-0, 2.03 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.1 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 13 K)
Despite missing most of May with shoulder tendinitis, Davies' 2014 campaign has been a strong one, particularly in the second half. The 21-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA since the All-Star break and has dramatically cut his walk rate. Davies won a pair of road games last week to lift his season record to 8-6. In his nine starts since June 15, he is 7-2 with 12 earned runs allowed in 57 1/3 innings -- good for a 1.88 ERA, which is second-best in the Eastern League over that stretch.
Davies catches a popped up bunt attempt
Justin Nicolino, Jacksonville
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 14 IP, 12 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 4 K)
With 14 scoreless innings last week -- including a nine-inning, 92-pitch shutout at Montgomery on Tuesday -- Nicolino is tied for the Southern League lead with 10 wins and ranks second with a 2.84 ERA. He also owns the circuit's best WHIP at 1.07 thanks to issuing just 18 free passes in 139 1/3 innings. Of more concern is the 22-year-old left-hander's plummeting strikeout rate. He's fanned only 60 batters this year and his 3.88 strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate is second-lowest in the Southern League.
James Needy, San Antonio
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
The 6-foot-6 Needy is 4-0 since the Texas League All-Star break, but none of his previous seven wins this season were as impressive as the Missions' delayed no-hitter Wednesday night. A sixth-inning infield hit was subsequently ruled an error (the game was on the road at Corpus Christi), allowing San Antonio to reach the record books as Needy won his eighth consecutive decision.
Chris Lamb, Stockton
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 7 K)
The Cal League award goes to Lamb for the second time in three weeks after the left-hander tossed eight scoreless frames across a pair of outings for the Ports. Half of the four hits the 24-year-old Davidson product allowed came in a one-inning relief appearance on Wednesday; the other two occurred Sunday as Lamb notched his first win since June 14 with seven sparkling innings at San Jose. Lamb owns a 3.09 ERA and has yielded just two home runs over 75 2/3 Cal League frames.
J.B. Wendelken, Winston-Salem
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 13 K)
Wednesday was supposed to be notable as the Carolina League debut of Carlos Rodon, an N.C. State product who was the fourth overall pick in the June Draft. Wendelken stole the spotlight from his new teammate by fanning a career-high 13 batters over seven scoreless innings to earn his first win since June 10. The 21-year-old righty struck out 10 back on May 9 but had otherwise not surpassed seven strikeouts in his other 19 starts.
Florida State League
Austin Pruitt, Charlotte
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
Sometimes baseball gives and sometimes it takes away. In June, Pruitt held FSL hitters to .250 average and fanned 25 batters over 28 innings but went 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA. In July, the league hit .281 off him and he struck out 21 in 29 1/3 innings but went 5-0 with a 2.15 mark. On Friday the 24-year-old right-hander won his sixth consecutive start, tossing eight scoreless frames to top first-place Daytona. He's walked only six batters over the six games covering 37 1/3 innings.
Taylor Williams, Wisconsin
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K)
Williams has done a little bit of everything for the Timber Rattlers this season, and nearly all of it with great aplomb. He's 8-1 with a 2.36 ERA that ranks second in the league, owns the circuit's best WHIP at 0.94, has tossed a complete game, and has recorded four saves. Friday marked the 23-year-old Kent State product's finest outing of the year as Williams notched a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless, one-hit innings. Overall, Williams has held Midwest hitters to a .201 average -- .190 since the All-Star break.
Wisconsin's Williams notches 11th W
South Atlantic League
John Gant, Savannah
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K)
Seven scoreless one-hit frames Sunday earned Gant his second Pitcher of the Week award in three weeks. He also ranks third in the league in both ERA and strikeouts. Unlike his July 20 outing, in which he pitched a seven-inning shutout, Gant did not get the victory in Savannah's 1-0 win Sunday, but he did retire the first 20 batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk in the seventh inning.
New York-Penn League
Edubray Ramos, Williamsport
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 SV, 1 SVP, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
Ramos began the year with the Venezuelan Summer League Phillies, then joined the GCL Phils before making his debut in Williamsport on July 24. If the whirlwind changes have bothered the 21-year-old right-hander, it hasn't shown on the field: he's retired 26 of the 27 NYPL batters he's faced -- eight via the strikeout. The lone exception was a hit batsman on Tuesday. Ramos's week wasn't quite perfect, but it was awfully close.
Ryan Doran, Hillsboro
(1-0, 1.35 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
Doran's NWL performance last week was so good that he wasn't even in the league by week's end. The right-hander, 23, fanned a season-high eight on Wednesday to notch his second win in as many starts, allowing one run over 6 2/3 frames. Four days later he tossed three scoreless innings for full-season South Bend (which doesn't count for Northwest League Pitcher of the Week consideration but is notable nonetheless). At the time of his departure, Doran ranked fifth in the NWL with a 2.56 ERA.
Ricardo Pereira, Pulaski
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 11 2/3 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 12 K)
Pereira spent 2012 with Pulaski and 2013 with Everett in the Northwest League, where he began this season. None of those campaigns went particularly well, but the 23-year-old right-hander seems to have found his footing in a second Appy League stint. Pereira won both of his outings last week, fanning six batters apiece in the two appearances, and did not give up a run. The two victories matched his combined total from 2012 and 2013 and lowered his Appy League ERA to 1.73 in 36 1/3 innings this season.
Tyler Bolton, Missoula
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 2 K)
A 33rd-round pick out of East Carolina in June, Bolton's introduction to the pro ranks hasn't been smooth -- he came into Friday night's contest with a 6.35 ERA. Five days after yielding three home runs to Helena, Bolton blanked the Brewers for seven two-hit innings in his longest outing with the Osprey. There's still work to be done -- Pioneer hitters are batting .313 against him -- but the outing was a big step forward for the 21-year-old right-hander.