NEW YORK—Low Class A Savannah lefty Mark Cohoon fired his third consecutive complete-game shutout on June 16, lowering his South Atlantic League-leading ERA to 1.30.
A 12th-round pick from North Central Texas JC in 2008, Cohoon struck out 22, walked four and yielded just 10 hits over that 27-inning span—and the 22-year-old ran his scoreless streak to 35 2/3 innings.
But the odd twist to this story is that he was not alone. The Savannah staff, not exactly stocked with can't-miss talent, has put together a dazzling season.
Cohoon's effort lowered Savannah's ERA to 2.46—nearly a run lower than the next-best team in the SAL and the lowest ERA of any minor league team this year.
Sand Gnats pitchers had registered 590 strikeouts in 621 innings—the highest total in all of the minors.
"I like to think it's the water here in Savannah," joked pitching coach Marc Valdes.
"These guys, they buy into their game plans, buy into getting ahead. First-pitch strikes are up quite a bit. These guys are not the guys who are first-round, second-round picks, but guys who have to work hard. They're still learning. Who knows how far they can go?"
It wasn't just Cohoon. Righthander Brandon Moore led the league with 91 strikeouts and 23-year-old lefty Jimmy Fuller ranked second with 77.
"I think they're having a good time competing against one another," Valdes said. "They root for each other. They watch each others' bullpens. Some will even come up to me, see something one kid is doing in his bullpen and I might not have seen it."
• Outfielder Fernando Martinez delivered a walk-off grand slam in his third game back with Triple-A Buffalo. He spent 23 games on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
• Double-A Binghamton second baseman Reese Havens landed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, the same injury that delayed the start to his season. He was batting .338/.400/.662 with six home runs in 68 at-bats.