Moore earns Spink Award for top player

Rays lefty named Topps/Minor League Player of the Year

Matt Moore went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 210 strikeouts in the Minors. (Danny Wild/

By Minor League Baseball | October 31, 2011 10:30 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Left-hander Matt Moore, who went a combined 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA for the Montgomery Biscuits and Durham Bulls, is the winner of the 52nd annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. Moore finished second among all MiLB pitchers with 210 strikeouts and a .184 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 Double-A 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 Triple-A Durham in the International League.

The Tampa Bay Rays, who selected Moore in the eighth round in 2007, called him up on September 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 in tossing five scoreless innings on the road against the New York Yankees on September 22.

In Game 1 of the American League Division series at Texas, the southpaw 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," Moore said. "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 Tampa Bay farmhand to win the honor. Delmon Young, who's currently with the Detroit 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).

The best performances in all classifications of Minor League Baseball again this year are being honored by the Topps Company of New York, N.Y., in conjunction with Minor League Baseball.

Next: Player of the Year in 16 Minor Leagues

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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