Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
2014 Stats: 77.2 IP (15 G), 6-4 W-L, 3.01 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 93:32 K:BB
Last year's 22nd overall selection, Harvey is back to dominating the South Atlantic League like he was early on after a two-start hiccup in early June.
Over his past three starts, the 19-year-old has given up just five earned on 12 hits and six walks over 17.1 innings. He's also sat down 24 in that stretch in preparation for his performance for the U.S. Team in the Futures Game on Sunday, July 13.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals
2014 Stats: 65.2 IP (14 G), 4-2 W-L, 2.47 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 72:24 K:BB
Giolito has spent 2014 showing why he was the No. 16 pick in 2012 despite an existing arm injury that spring that eventually required Tommy John surgery soon after he was taken.
The righty, who turns 20 July 14, has had a few downs with his ups, as his last start on July 7 proves (4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 6:3 K:BB). But the two before that (including one July 2) were gems, as Giolito surrendered only eight baserunners in 13.0 frames to go with 14 strikeouts.
Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
2014 Stats: 66.0 IP (13 G), 6-5 W-L, 4.23 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 79:45 K:BB
Still only 19, Reyes is a long way off but is looking like yet another top young power arm for the pitching-rich St. Louis Cardinals. The raw stuff is electric, but Reyes has a tendency to miss the outlet when trying to plug himself in. In other words, his control and command need work.
After three shaky starts in a four-start stretch across May and June, Reyes has been better his past three times out. His most recent start is an extreme example of the good and bad, as he walked—count 'em—seven in five frames July 2 but didn't give up a run because only two batters got hits while 10 struck out. He's won three straight, allowing only three runs in 18.0 innings with a 22-to-10 strikeout-to-walk mark.
Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 Stats: 36.1 IP (9 G), 1-2 W-L, 4.71 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 21:22 K:BB
Until recently, Heredia was a favorite of prospect hounds, but most of that had to do with his age, as the Mexico native embarked upon full-season ball back in 2012 at 17.
Alas, his trajectory since then has been falling—and fast. About to turn 20 in August, the 6'6" right-hander left an April start after just one pitch with shoulder discomfort. Although Heredia came back in June, he's currently sporting career worsts in just about every pitching category, and he walked four batters without making it through the first inning last time out. That's a sign he still may not be right.
Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Detroit Tigers
2014 Stats: 74.1 IP (14 G), 4-2 W-L, 3.15 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 53:28 K:BB
Nabbed with the 20th overall take out of the University of Florida in 2013, Crawford's first full year actually has been rather solid on the whole.
It's the 22-year-old's last handful of starts, however, that have him among the coldest at this level. While his 4.73 ERA in those 26.2 frames isn't much to be concerned with, his backward 9-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio just might be, especially for a college arm in Low-A. Crawford had put up a strong 44-to-14 mark in his first 47.2 innings over nine starts to begin 2014.