A predominately hitter friendly league was dominated by pitchers this past week in the Pacific Coast League. Recently promoted Andrew Heaney has shown no signs of needing a learning curve in his first couple appearances in Triple-A. He has gone 11 innings and given up eight hits, but walked none while striking out 14 and allowing just a single run. Heaney is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, and if he keeps throwing like he has in his first pair of appearances in Triple-A, he will be in the big leagues before too long.
One pitcher that has had success in the big leagues but struggled this season is Dan Straily. Straily had an ERA near five in seven starts in the big leagues this season, but took home the most recent Pitcher of the Week honors for the PCL. In his first start back in Triple-A back on May 13 he really struggled, giving up six runs in five innings, but he has been lights out since. He went seven innings in each of his last two, and the only run he has allowed came on a solo home run.
While Heaney and Straily have been dominating on the hill, Tyler Matzek of Colorado Springs is helping his team with his arm and his bat. In his most recent outing against Nashville, Matzek went 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball on the hill, but he truly earned himself the win. Matzek led off the sixth inning of a scoreless ballgame with a solo home run, his first as a pro. The Sky Sox went on to win the game 2-0, and it is safe to say Matzek was the player of the game.
Just because there was plenty of good pitching outings, does not mean there weren’t any hitters that rose to the occasion. The best of the group is one of the best prospects in all of baseball. The Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect, Javier Baez, has been on fire over his past ten ballgames. In those ten games, he is hitting .439 with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and he has scored 11 times. This hot streak has lifted his average to .225, which should say all you need to know about how his Triple-A season began.