06/30/2008 3:28 PM ET
Pitchers of the Week
For the week ending June 29
By Nick Cammarota / MLB.com
Devern Hansack, Pawtucket
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 15.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 SO
Hansack has been spotty and ineffective for the better part of two months, but may have turned a corner last week. After not pitching more than seven innings in any of his 13 starts prior to the pair last week, and allowing more than seven hits on multiple occasions, the right-hander from Nicaragua found his rhythm. Tuesday against Richmond he threw eight innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight for his third victory of the year. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder followed with a seven-inning, two-hit, four strikeout performance Sunday, raising his record to 4-8 and lowering his ERA to 4.39.
Pacific Coast League
Dustin Nippert, Oklahoma
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Nippert, who's split time between Texas and Oklahoma this season, after pitching in the big leagues for parts of three seasons with Arizona, is making a strong case for his return. In a seven-inning game, Nippert was literally un-hittable, as he tossed the first no-no in Oklahoma's history, using 86 pitches to silence Omaha's bats, striking out five and walking two in the process. The 27-year-old right-hander picked up his first win since June 9, and lowered his ERA to 3.98. "To throw a no-hitter, it has to rank up there, probably No. 1," the Wheeling, W.Va., native said Sunday. "I'll remember this for a while."
Robert Ray, New Hampshire
1-1, 0.59 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 15.1 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 16 SO
With his nine-inning shutout against the New Britain Rock Cats on Tuesday, Ray became the first-ever Fisher Cats pitcher to win his first three starts. And what a way to do it. His performance was dominant, scattering five hits over nine innings while striking out 10 without issuing a walk. He took the moudn again Sunday against New Britain, looking to make it 4-for-4, but was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0, seven-inning defeat. The Lufkin, Texas, native lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowed one run on eight hits, struck out six and walked two, and now boasts a 0.92 ERA through nine starts.
Tommy Hanson, Mississippi
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 14 SO
Without a doubt, Hanson's nine-inning no-hitter, in which he recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts, was the most impressive pitching performance of the week. The native of Tulsa, Okla., tossed the first no-no in M-Braves history. The 21-year-old right-hander fanned 13 batters over five hitless innings in his season debut for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, but claimed nothing could compare to his experience last Wednesday. "It was awesome, by far the best time I've ever had pitching in a game my whole life," Hanson said following a clubhouse celebration.
Jess Todd, Springfield
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
Todd is one of two players selected as Pitcher of the Week not to have won a game. Aside from his regular-season outing -- a masterful effort Sunday against Midland, in which he pitched eight innings, allowing two hits, fanning 10 and walking one -- it was his performance in the Texas League All-Star game that fueled his selection. The Kilgore, Texas, native tossed two innings in the Midsummer Classic, allowing one hit and striking out five. In nine starts at the Double-A level, Todd has a 2-2 record with a 1.56 ERA.
Bryan Augenstein, Visalia
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Making his debut in Visalia on Sunday, the 21-year-old right-hander pitched admirably to get the win, going five shutout innings, yielding five hits, striking out two and walking one. His bullpen made it interesting later in the game, allowing four runs in the final four innings, but Visalia's offense jumped on Bakersfield's pitching quick enough to preserve Augenstein's "W." He was 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA with the Class A South Bend Silver Hawks and was chosen for the Midwest League All-Star Game before being called up.
Josh Tomlin, Kinston
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
Tomlin has been the ace of the staff all season, with a team-high six wins, and after two rough outings the previous week, returned to form by picking up his first victory since May 5. The right-hander allowed one hit in a six-inning shutout of the Frederick Keys, striking out five without issuing a walk. Frederick's lone hit came off the bat of Paul Winterling, but he was caught stealing, so Tomlin faced the minimum 18 batters in his six innings of work.
Florida State League
Jeremy Jeffress, Brevard County
1-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 17 SO
After allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings on June 11, Jeffress did not lose a game, picking up a win and a no-decision. Tuesday, against Dunedin, he pitched a seven-inning shutout, allowing three hits while striking out eight and walking two. Dunedin's starter, Edward Rodriguez, performed well also (6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 SO), but Jeffress was too dominant. On Sunday, the 6-foot, 197-pounder tossed six innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out nine Fort Myers batters.
Santos Arias, Beloit
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
The pitchers of the week are really putting on a show, as Arias is one of many who tossed a shutout. Thursday, against Clinton, Arias allowed three base runners -- two singles and a double -- and punched out four batters. It was his second-consecutive win after going 0-2 in his previous four appearances, and the effort lowered his ERA, which has been sticking around the low 2.00's all season, to 2.39.
South Atlantic League
Jeremy Hall, Columbus
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
Hall was dominant over eight innings Wednesday against Charleston, yielding three hits and a walk while punching out eight in the winning effort. The only run allowed in Columbus' 6-1 win came off reliever Kevin Boggan in the ninth, after Hall had left the game. It was the 6-foot-3 right-handers' second consecutive decision (and win) after he opened the season with six-straight no-decisions in games he started.
New York-Penn League
Geury Ramirez, Jamestown
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
The 21-year-old right-hander tossed five hitless innings in his second start of the season (third appearance) and lowered his ERA significantly after allowing nine runs in his first two outings. He just missed doubling his season total in strikeouts, mowing down seven Williamsport batters. The three walks allowed by the Dominican native accounted for the only Crosscutters players to reach base in Ramirez's five innings of work.
Neil Ramirez, Spokane
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
After picking up his first win of the season last week, things got even better for the 19-year-old right-hander as he worked six scoreless innings in his third start of the season, striking out seven and walking one. Though he didn't get the decision, as Tri-City rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth, his 17 strikeouts rank third in the NWL.
Matthew North, Johnson City
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 12 SO
Cards fans will want to keep an eye on North, as the next logical progression for him would be a no-hitter. After surrendering two runs on a pair of solo homers in the season opener, the 20-year-old right-hander threw five scoreless innings Tuesday, allowing three hits and striking out five. Last week, he was even better, yielding one hit over four innings and striking out seven hitters from Danville. His outing Sunday was his first of the season in relief.
Jayson Miller, Orem
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 8.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO
The 5-foot-11 left-hander started Wednesday and appeared in relief Sunday to log a team-high 8 1/3 innings last week. In his start against Casper, he tossed six scoreless innings, scattering four hits while striking out five and walking one to record his first win of the season. Sunday, he threw 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless ball, striking out five. His ERA was lowered to a miniscule 0.68 and he boasts a K/BB ratio of 18:3.
Nick Cammarota is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.