Jim Paduch, Durham
(2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 9 K)
Paduch entered Monday's start at Rochester having last won on May 17 and taken the loss in four of five outings since. The Red Wings managed just one run on four hits -- one of them a solo homer -- as the 29-year-old right-hander matched his season high with five strikeouts over six frames. Paduch was even better on Saturday, holding the Buffalo Bisons to an unearned run on five hits in seven strong innings.
Pacific Coast League
Doug Davis, Omaha
(2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 4 BB, 9 K)
The veteran Davis did not fare well in the Majors last season, going 1-7 with a 6.50 ERA in nine starts for the Cubs. Now 36, the left-hander showed he still has some gas in the tank with a pair of victories for the Storm Chasers this week. Davis held Memphis to one run on four hits over six innings on Tuesday, then tossed six scoreless frames at Oklahoma City on Sunday. He also walked just four batters in the 12 innings, an important figure for a pitcher who led the Majors with 103 walks in 2009.
Jonathan Pettibone, Reading
(1-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 14 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 4 BB, 15 K)
A third-round pick in 2008, the 21-year-old Pettibone has stepped up to a new level in each of his five Minor League seasons and posted a 2.96 ERA in 27 Florida State League starts last year. The right-hander has gotten better each month in his first Double-A campaign, with a 4.33 ERA in April, 3.63 mark in May and 1.67 in June. This week he held Akron and Bowie to one earned run apiece and seven hits total in a pair of seven-inning outings.
Jose Alvarez, Jacksonville
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K)
Alvarez notched his first win since May 1 this week with eight brilliant innings against visiting Tennessee on Friday night. Though the left-hander allowed two hits and walked one, he faced the minimum 24 batters thanks to two double plays and a baserunner caught stealing. Alvarez retired the final 14 Smokies he faced and combined on the two-hit shutout with reliever A.J. Ramos as the Suns won for the first time since June 15.
Jarred Cosart, Corpus Christi
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 9 K)
A pair of scoreless road outings this week served notice that the Astros' top pitching prospect was back on form. Cosart held San Antonio to five hits while fanning a season-high eight batters over seven innings on Tuesday before heading to Frisco on Sunday, where the first-half champion RoughRiders managed four hits in Cosart's six frames. Relying on groundball outs, the 22-year-old right-hander has allowed just three home runs in his 12 starts for the Hooks this season.
Matt Jackson, Lake Elsinore
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K)
After four consecutive starts on the road, the 24-year-old Jackson returned home to throw a gem at The Diamond on Sunday, holding Lancaster to a single and a walk over six scoreless innings. Though he didn't get the victory -- the Storm ultimately won, 4-3, in 14 innings to complete a four-game sweep of the league's second-ranked hitting club -- it was Jackson's finest outing of the season and his five strikeouts were the most he'd recorded since fanning eight at Stockton on April 17.
Aaron Northcraft, Lynchburg
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 10 K)
Having won the first-half title in the league's Northern Division by eight games, the Hillcats remained hot as their second half kicked off against visiting Salem. Northcraft did his part to keep the team rolling with his third straight win, a seven-inning no-hitter as Lynchburg blanked the Sox, 3-0, to sweep Friday's doubleheader. The 22-year-old right-hander matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and tossed the first complete-game no-hitter in team history and first Lynchburg no-no of any kind since two pitchers combined on a nine-inning gem on July 26, 1995.
Florida State League
Frank Del Valle, Daytona
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K)
Del Valle, a 22-year-old Cuban-born left-hander, faced his first Major Leaguer on Friday night as Daytona visited Clearwater, where Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was rehabbing. Perhaps wound up to face Utley, Del Valle fanned a career-high 11 batters over six no-hit frames in the Cubs' 3-1 win. He did not walk a batter, but did hit two of them, including Utley once. Though going just 2-2, Del Valle has posted a 1.37 ERA over 19 2/3 innings in four June appearances.
Kyle Smith, Kane County
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 K)
Kyle Smith, Idaho Falls
(1-0, 1.80 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 11 K)
A fourth-round pick out of Santaluces High School in Lantana, Fla., in the 2011 Draft, Smith's first week as a pro beggars belief. The 19-year-old righty made his debut with Idaho Falls on Tuesday, striking out 11 batters over five innings -- no one else fanned more than eight in any of the Pioneer League's first-week games. Suitably impressed, the Royals dispatched Smith to Kane County, where on Sunday he pitched six no-hit innings in his first Midwest League outing. After 11 innings in two professional games, Smith has allowed one run on three hits while fanning 17 -- and earned Pitcher of the Week honors in two leagues. The Carolina League, to which Kansas City's Class A Advanced affiliate in Wilmington belongs, is on notice.
South Atlantic League
Adalberto Mejia, Augusta
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K)
Mejia began the season in Augusta's rotation, but after two brutal starts against Savannah during which he allowed 11 runs on 14 hits over five total innings, the GreenJackets moved him to the bullpen. After 16 relief appearances and a start in the nightcap of a doubleheader on June 14, he got his revenge against the Sand Gnats on Sunday, holding them hitless over six innings in Augusta's 2-1 win. The left-hander, who turned 19 on Wednesday, struck out five and walked two as the GreenJackets took three of four games in Savannah.
New York-Penn League
Raynel Velette, Lowell
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 2 K)
Velette went 2-4 with a 6.50 ERA while striking out 36 and walking 36 in 54 innings with Lowell last season. This year is off to a much better start, as the 20-year-old right-hander allowed one hit -- and no walks -- over six shutout innings at Connecticut on Thursday. After hitting a batter and yielding a single with two outs in the first, the only other Tiger to reach base against Velette was thanks to a fielding error by Spinners third baseman Dreily Guerrero in the fifth inning.
Javier Avendano, Vancouver
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 2 GS, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 14 K)
The 21-year-old Avendano was very effective as a reliever with Class A Lansing in the first two months of the season, posting a 1.48 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings while holding the Midwest League to a .182 average. Shifting to a starting role with Vancouver, the Venezuelan right-hander has been just as sharp in his first three Northwest League outings, allowing five hits and fanning 14 over nine scoreless frames. The defending champion Canadians have won each of the games Avendano has pitched and jumped out to a circuit-best 8-2 record.
Blake Snell, Princeton
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 8 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 13 K)
A first-round pick out of Shoreline, Wash., in 2011, Snell was solid in 11 GCL outings last summer, going 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA. The 19-year-old southpaw has been overwhelming in his first two Appy League starts, holding Kingston to one hit over five frames on Tuesday and tossing 3 2/3 perfect innings against Pulaski on Sunday. That's one hit and 13 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings, with Appy hitters going 1-for-26 (.038) against him and reaching second base just once.