Braves minor league righthander Aaron Northcraft kicked off a weekend of superb pitching performances in the minors by throwing a seven-inning no-hitter for high Class A Lynchburg on Friday. The 22-year-old became the first minor leaguer to complete his own no-hit bid this season, truncated to seven innings though it was. The full list of minor league no-hitters can be found at the bottom of this story.
A 10th-round pick out of high school in 2009, Northcraft struck out 10, walked two and hit a batter during his no-hitter versus Salem. He also logged a seven-inning complete game two starts ago, June 9, against Frederick, striking out six and walking two. His ERA in June stands at 1.04 through 26 innings.
Other pitching heroics over the weekend . . .
Phillies LHP Ethan Stewart (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 SO for low Class A Lakewood). The 2010 47th-rounder out of New Mexico JC has struggled with his control this season (5.2 walks per nine innings), but he's limited damage by allowing batters to hit just .194 against him, squelching many rallies. We identified him as an unheralded arm on the rise back in April.
Giants LHP Adalberto Mejia (6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 SO for low Class A Augusta). Making just his fourth start of the season, Mejia dealt six no-hit innings against Savannah, giving the GreenJackets yet another power arm to buttress their team strikeout rate of 9 per nine innings. The Giants signed Mejia for $350,000 in 2011, and that's looking like money well spent right now.
Blue Jays RHP Noah Syndergaard (5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO for low Class A Lansing). The 19-year-old power righty has registered a tick more than four strikeouts for every walk this season in the Midwest League, and he matched a season-high with seven strikeouts versus Great Lakes on Saturday.
Giants RHP Kyle Crick (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 SO for low Class A Augusta). The 2011 supplemental pick turned in his fourth scoreless start out of 12 this season, outdueling Mets prospect Michael Fulmer (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 SO) and setting the GreenJackets on the path to a 1-0 victory.
Rangers LHP Martin Perez (9 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 SO for Triple-A Round Rock). The organization's top pitching prospect may be gaining momentum at just the right time. As the big league rotation faces a wave of injuries, Perez has turned in his best work during his past two starts, logging 16 innings and allowing just two runs on four hits in that time.