Rays promote stud pitching prospect Matt Moore to Triple-A

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Tampa Bay has promoted Matt Moore to Triple-A, putting the stud prospect one step from the majors at age 22.

Moore, who ranked 15th on Baseball America‘s preseason list of the MLB’s top prospects and moved up to the No. 3 spot on their midseason revision, had a 2.20 ERA and 131/28 K/BB ratio in 102 innings at Double-A, leading the Southern League in opponents’ batting average (.187) and strikeouts.

For his career Moore has a 2.79 ERA and 621 strikeouts in 445 innings and adding the left-hander to a rotation that already includes David Price, James Shields, and Jeremy Hellickson is a scary thought and one reason why the Rays are going to be winning 90-plus games a year for a long time. It’s possible Moore will get a cup of coffee in the majors this September, but his true estimated time of arrival is probably mid-2012.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: