Rays Final Report





 Best Player: Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee's first season with the Rays following a January trade from the Cubs got off to a rough start: sequestered in a Port Charlotte, Fla., motel after catching the chicken pox in spring training. But once the talented 20-year-old Korean got on the field, nothing could stop him. He hit in his first 14 games for high Class A Charlotte and finished at .318/.389/.443, including 16 doubles, 11 triples, four homers and 28 steals, plus tremendous defense. That earned him a final month promotion to Double-A Montgomery.

Though he hit just .190/.272/.310 there, his overall season, which included a Futures Game appearance and selection to the Florida State League's postseason all-star team, was a smashing success.

Best Pitcher: Lefthander Matt Moore wasn't just the best pitcher in the Rays organization. He was the best in all of minor league baseball. In his first season above the Class A level, the 2007 eighth-round pick went a combined 12-3, 1.92 between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham while striking out a Rays-record 210 in 155 innings. He threw a no-hitter along the way for the Biscuits, and got called up to the big leagues when Durham's season ended.
With an upper-90s fastball, knee-bending breaking ball and improved changeup, he ranked second in the minors in ERA, strikeouts and opponent average (.184).

Keep An Eye On: Stephen Vogt seemed like one of those guys who could hit but didn't have enough skills for big league success. But now he might be one of those guys who hits his way into a team's plans. After winning the Florida State League batting title in 2010, Vogt moved up to Montgomery (.301/.344/.487) and then Durham (.290/.305/.516) and didn't miss a step, leading the Rays organization with 105 RBIs. He also increased his value by showing his versatility, playing first base, catcher and the outfield.

COOL RAYS


• Righthanders Mike Ekstrom and Rob Delaney were designated for assignment after Durham won a fifth straight International League South Division title, as the Rays needed roster space to promote infielder Russ Canzler and Moore to the big league roster.

• Outfielder Mikie Mahtook, the Rays' second pick in the 2011 draft out of Louisiana State, will make his pro debut in the Arizona Fall League.