Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Brad Peacock makes his 13th start of the season tonight at Richmond as he continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the Eastern League.
Peacock's eight wins and 114 strikeouts in 12 starts this season are tops in the league, while his 2.28 ERA is second overall.
Peacock was honored last week with the announcement that he will be pitching in the All-Star Futures Game on July 10 in Phoenix.
"I am very excited," Peacock said. "I didn't even know it was even going to be possible. I didn't expect it. It will be good to go back to Arizona."
Peacock pitched in the Arizona Fall League last year as part of the Scottsdale Scorpions' championship team. This season, his ERA has dropped from 4.50 to 2.28.
He has added experience and is pitching lights-out this season, thanks to a tweak to his delivery that has made a big difference.
"Spring training every other year I was getting hit around," Peacock said. "The coaches noticed in my delivery that my hand would separate out from my body (before I threw the pitch)."
Hitters had been able to see the ball well for a long period of time. Now, Peacock has his hand closer to his body during his delivery, making it extremely difficult for the batter to identify what pitch might be coming.
Coaches Randy Tomlin, Spin Williams and Paul Menhart worked with Peacock in spring training on this slight adjustment to his delivery.
His stuff was already there, but it is now even tougher to pick up.
Peacock's fastball has hit 97 mph this year. He said he got it to 96 mph Friday night. His changeup has been hitting 83 to 85 mph while his curveball tails away from lefties.
"I feel great," Peacock said. "I had a couple of starts that were a little shaky because I couldn't command my stuff. But I am good now."
Peacock said he has recently been working on his curveball location.
"I was struggling with my curve against righties," Peacock said. "Tomlin worked on it with me during my last bullpen session. Now it is working great."
Peacock said that his last start in Virginia was one to remember and has fueled his confidence the past month.
"The 14-strikeout performance was a definite highlight against Richmond," Peacock said. "Everything started working well during that game. Last year, I didn't strike out a lot of people."
Peacock only had 30 strikeouts in his first go with Harrisburg late last season. He still had 148 punch outs overall in 2010, and has struck out 366 hitters since 2009.