In his April 27 start against Burlington, Padres prospect Adys Portillo (No. 17 on San Diego's Top 20 Prospects list
) gave up four runs on six hits over just four innings. He no doubt wanted to improve on that in his next two Midwest League outings.
The 20-year-old Venezuelan right-hander did that and then some, tossing 14 shutout innings to earn Prospect Watch Pitcher of the Week honors.
Portillo gave up just three hits combined in the two starts, going seven innings in each, and holding opposing hitters to a .067 average. He struck out 12, but even more importantly, he walked only three.
Portillo has struggled with his command in the early stages of his career and he had issued 14 walks in his first 24 1/3 innings. This is the right-hander's second long taste of life with Class A Fort Wayne. In 2011, he walked six per nine innings. His two most recent starts lowered his season rate to 4.0 -- a step in the right direction.
Portillo is third in the Midwest League with his 1.41 ERA and is tied for third in strikeouts, with 38. He's held hitters to a miniscule .140 average and kept his WHIP down to 0.91 (good for fourth in the league) thanks to that reduced walk rate.