Minor League Notes, June 17, 2011
**Tampa Bay Rays prospect Matt Moore threw a nine-inning no-hitter last night for Double-A Montgomery, fanning 11 and walking two in an 8-0 drubbing of Mobile. Moore is now 4-3 on the year, with a 2.43 ERA and a 103/23 K/BB in 78 innings with 52 hits allowed. He's maintaining the outstanding component ratios he demonstrated last year in High-A, utilizing his low-to-mid-90s fastball, hard-breaking curve, and improving changeup. He's a clear Grade A prospect, probably the best southpaw prospect currently in the minors, and the no-hitter is just one more positive on his resume.
**Cleveland Indians southpaw prospect Drew Pomeranz also had an excellent start last night for High-A Kinston in the Carolina League, going seven innings with seven strikeouts. He has a 1.93 ERA in 12 starts with a 77/23 K/BB in 61 innings, with 44 hits allowed. His K/IP and hit rates are excellent and confirm the quality of his stuff, a 90-95 MPH fastball, a nasty breaking curve, and a workable changeup. Both his stuff and his statistical profile are similar to Moore's, though Moore is seven months younger and pitching at a higher level. I suspect Pomeranz will move up to Double-A sometime in the second half.
**Arizona Diamondbacks prospect David Holmberg had a fine start on June 15th for Low-A South Bend in the Midwest League, allowing two hits and no runs in seven innings, fanning 10. He is 7-3, 2.61 in 13 starts with a 74/13 K/BB in 76 innings, 64 hits allowed, including a 61/7 K/BB in his last 61 innings. Originally drafted by the White Sox in the second round in 2009 from high school in Port Charlotte, Florida, Holmberg was traded to Arizona in the Edwin Jackson deal last summer. He does not throw as hard as Pomeranz or Moore, but his curveball and changeup are advanced for his age and he has a great feel for pitching.
**A sleeper lefty to watch is Robbie Ray in the Washington Nationals system, drafted in the 12th round last year from high school in Brentwood, Tennessee. His draft slot was deceptive; he fell due to signability, but agreed to skip college at Arkansas for $799,000. Activated from extended spring training in early May, he's been excellent so far for Low-A Hagerstown, with a 1.07 ERA through seven starts and a 33/11 K/BB in 35 innings with just 17 hits allowed. Ray isn't a big guy at 6-2, 170, but his fastball hits 90 and he has a strong changeup and average breaking ball. He's only 19 but his career is off to a fine start.