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Moore wins Spink Award as top Minor Leaguer

Moore wins Spink Award as top Minor Leaguer

Moore wins Spink Award as top Minor Leaguer
ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore was named the winner of the 52nd annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year on Monday.

Tampa Bay's prized left-hander went a combined 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He finished second among all Minor League pitchers with 210 strikeouts and a .184 batting average against. His WHIP of 0.95 ranked third best.

The 22-year-old went 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA in 18 starts with Montgomery, including a June 16 Southern League no-hitter at Mobile. He then went 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in nine starts with Durham in the International League.

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The Rays, who selected Moore in the eighth round in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, called him up on Sept. 12. Two days later, the Edgewood, N.M., resident made his Major League debut in a relief appearance against Baltimore. Moore earned a win in his first big league start when he struck out 11 while tossing five scoreless innings on the road against the Yankees on Sept. 22.

Moore further distinguished himself in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Texas when he pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in Tampa Bay's 9-0 victory.

"Even being considered for this award is an honor, and to actually win it is very special to me," said Moore in a Minor League Baseball release. "I am truly honored. After starting the year in Montgomery and then being a part of the playoffs with the Rays, this award is the icing on the cake for a season I'll never forget."

Moore is the second Rays farmhand to win the honor. Delmon Young, who's currently with the Tigers, also starred at Montgomery and Durham when he won the award in 2005.

Other former Spink winners include Mike Trout (2010), Buster Posey (2009), Josh Beckett (2001), Andruw Jones (1996), Johnny Damon (1995) and Derek Jeter (1994).

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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