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Rays call up Triple-A MVP Russ Canzler

Sep 12, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

russ canzler rays

Tampa Bay calling up stud pitching prospect Matt Moore is getting all the attention–and rightfully so–but the Rays have also promoted Russ Canzler to the majors after the 25-year-old took home International League MVP honors by hitting .314 with 18 homers, 40 doubles, and a .930 OPS in Durham.

Canzler signed with the Rays as a minor-league free agent this offseason, so he’s far from a top prospect, but he also hit .287 with 21 homers and a .938 OPS at Double-A in the Cubs’ system last year.

As for how much or even where he’ll play for the Rays, that remains unclear. Canzler saw significant action for Durham at third base, first base, right field, and left field, but was primarily a first baseman prior to this season.

Dan Johnson, Steve Cox, Kevin Witt, and Toby Hall previously won the International League MVP award while in the Rays’ farm system and that didn’t exactly lead to future stardom, but Canzler at least has a chance to be an interesting player if given an opportunity.

  1. hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    The Rays landed Ben Zobrist because of Toby Hall. Rays fans love Toby Hall for that. Canzler will take some of Kotchmann and Damons at bat vs lefties, primarily Kotchmann. I’m excited about getting a look at him.

    • hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      Awwwwwww Crap!

      Huff was traded for Zobrist. As the story goes, Mitch Talbot was a high prospect. The only way the Astros were willing to make the deal is if the Rays agreed to take some bum Zobrist as well.

      I should not have made this mistake, because this is my favorite trade in Rays history. Not because it worked out well for us, but it let me know new ownership wanted to win. It was the first trade that I knew of to include us sending cash, and not wanting it in return.

  2. Chris K - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I don’t recall the Rays landing Zobrist because of Hall but would love to see the story. As far as I can tell he came over because of Huff…

    • yankeefan1950 - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      You are correct, he and Mitch Talbot went to the Devil Rays from the Astros for Huff and Cash.

    • hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      I thumbs down my post for that glaring mistake. Explanation above.

  3. foreverchipper10 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Fun fact: Canzler and manager Joe Maddon are from the same hometown of Hazleton, PA.

  4. urteamsux52 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    we are loaded with youth best gm in the game Go Rays

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