In the minors: Delmarva's good pitching, Welty's great start

The good pitching start for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds continued last night when Tyler Wilson and Devin Jones combined on a four-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over Greenville.

Delmarva pitchers have not allowed an earned run over their last 20 innings and the team has moved up to second in team ERA in the 14-team South Atlantic League at 2.87. That is more impressive when you consider that, as good as Dylan Bundy has been, he has pitched just 13 of the Shorebirds' 182 innings.

The Shorebirds' staff also has an impressive 1.86 ground-to-air out ratio. That could be an indication of how well they are pitching down in the zone, something new director of pitching development Rick Peterson is emphasizing.

This team has several good young arms on the staff and you can check out their stats here.

I'll cite two in this post. Eduardo Rodriguez is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.54 over three starts and, at 19, is in his first year of full-season ball. Zach Davies, a 19-year-old drafted last year in round 26 out of an Arizona high school, is doing well in his first pro season with an ERA of 1.88. Ten of the Shorebirds pitchers have ERAs of three or under right now.

The Delmarva offense has been doing its part also and is third in the league in runs scored. John Ruettiger has an 11-game batting streak going and is batting .349 in 20 games with 16 runs, 12 RBIs and nine steals in ten tries. He is sixth in the Sally League in batting average.

The Shorebirds are two games out of first place and, as I wrote the other day, I expect this team to continue to play well and potentially be one of the best teams in that league this year. They also seem to have a roster with more younger players than a lot of clubs in that league.

Bundy is the headliner right now in Salisbury. But even if he gets promoted at some point soon, this is still going to be a good young team that should win a lot of games with plenty of interesting players to watch.

Meanwhile, how about the amazing start this year by outfielder Ronnie Welty. The 24-year-old right-handed hitter that was drafted in round 20 in 2008 hit just .228 at Double-A Bowie last year, but his bat is sizzling now.

Welty began the season with Single-A Frederick. In 13 games, he hit .415 with seven doubles, three triples, three homers and 17 RBIs. He went 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position with the Keys.

Since moving to Bowie, Welty is now 7-for-16 in four games with three doubles and a triple. That is some impressive hitting. He is batting .420 between the two clubs and now has 17 extra-base hits in 17 games.

Highlights: Here are some highlights courtesy of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides from their game last night that feature Xavier Avery, Joe Mahoney and Steve Johnson.

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