mlb 09/22/08 7:28 PM EST Jonathan Mayo is a senior reporter for]]> That doesn't mean prospect hounds should rest, however, as the Arizona Fall League, Hawaii Winter League and various Winter Leagues are looming in the not-too-distant future.

Regardless, it's a good time to pause and contemplate the season that was. Regular readers of the Exchange know I tend to split things up into sections. Using those delineations, I felt this week was a good opportunity to hand out some kudos for performances over the course of the 2008 season. This isn't a be-all, end-all list, just some guys I felt deserved a shout out.

In the bigs

There are some obvious choices, such as Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto, but I've always been a fan of the whole value-added thing when it comes to Major Leaguers, the guys who got called up without expectations or fanfare and then were incredibly productive.

When Daniel Murphy was called up in early August, he had just one game of experience above Double-A. He hit well at Binghamton, but I don't think there are many people who expected him to hit .343 with a .509 slugging percentage in 42 games for the Mets. It would be icing on the cake if he qualified at the four positions he played in the Minors (first, second, third and outfield) instead of just the outfield.

Denard Span was drafted back in 2002, proof positive that it takes some guys longer to develop. He was just so-so in April when he was up for a while, but he's been terrific since his recall at the very end of June, hitting .321 in July, .292 in August and .289 so far in September. Even more important to most fantasy players, he's accumulated 14 of his 17 total steals since then and we all know that speed like that doesn't grow on trees.

On the pitching side, a couple of American Leaguers really stand out. The first is Armando Galarraga, the Tigers right-hander. Originally brought up as a stop-gap for Dontrelle Willis, Galarraga proved to be an outstanding find with a dozen wins, a 3.58 ERA in the AL, a 1.19 WHIP and even 121 Ks in 171 innings.

The only guy more surprising than that has to be A's reliever Brad Ziegler. The guy wasn't even on the 40-man roster at the start of the year, but he came up to fill a hole in the bullpen and then went on to set a record with 39 consecutive scoreless innings to start a career. If you told me he'd have a 0.78 ERA, 11 saves and a 1.09 WHIP in 58 innings near the end of the season, I wouldn't have believed you. Kudos to you if you grabbed him early on.

A phone call away

Rays right-hander Wade Davis won 13 games with a 3.47 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and 136 Ks in 160 2/3 IP across two Minor League levels this year. Even more encouraging is that his numbers were better after the move to Triple-A, where he posted a 1.19 WHIP with more than a strikeout per inning. He'll be a force to be reckoned with once he improves his command.

When a guy is selected in the 27th round of a Draft (2005, in this case), expectations aren't going to be all that high. Needless to say, William Rhymes has exceeded whatever the Tigers thought they were getting when they took him out of William & Mary. The second baseman spent most of '08 in Double-A, where he hit .306 with 17 steals. He kept on hitting after a late bump to Triple-A Toledo, going 8-for-25 (.320) in six games. Altogether, his 166 hits ranked 12th in the Minors. Rhymes is not going to give you any power, but he makes contact, gets on base and could be a big leaguer who hits for average and collects a fair share of steals pretty soon.

A year away

The Rangers gave Julio Borbon a big-league contract in the 2007 draft. It's looking like it was a worthwhile investment. Borbon began the year in the California League, earning a promotion after hitting .306 in with 36 stolen bases in 66 games. He was even better in Double-A, producing a .337 average and another 17 steals over 60 games. Add it up and you have a 22-year-old speedster who should make his way to Texas pretty soon.

How can we not mention Matt Wieters? After all, this is a catcher who hit .355 with 27 homers, 91 RBIs and a ridiculous 1.053 OPS across two levels this year. The only question is whether the Orioles will keep him behind the plate. Wieters has the ability to handle the position defensively, but the team may try to preserve his legs and get the most out of his bat by moving him to another position.

I know this is shocking, but there's another really good pitching prospect making his way through the Rays system. This one is Jeremy Hellickson, who split the year between Class A Advanced Vero Beach and Double-A Montgomery. His 162 total strikeouts in 152 innings ranked fifth in the Minors, and he also finished with a 2.96 ERA. But what really stands out is the miniscule 20 walks issued, leaving Hellickson with an amazing 8/1 K/BB ratio for the year.

Down the road

I can't have an Exchange like this and not mention San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner, the left-hander who led the Minors with a 1.46 ERA. Bumgarner also won 15 games, struck out 164 (third best in the Minors) and walked only 21 in 141 2/3 innings during his first full season. Fellow 2007 first-rounder Tim Alderson also enjoyed a terrific season with a 13-4 record, a 2.79 ERA, 124 Ks and 34 walks in 145 1/3 innings as a teenager in the California League. Giants fans and fantasy owners alike should be pretty excited about the idea of Bumgarner and Alderson joining Tim Lincecum in the big-league rotation in the next few years.

One speed and one power guy to finish things off here. First, there's Minnesota's 2007 first-rounder, Ben Revere, who hit .379 in 83 games for Beloit in the Midwest League. He produced an excellent .433 on-base percentage, and made the most of all that time on the basepaths with 44 steals.

As for the power guy, let's go with Mike Stanton, who finished tied for second in the Minors with 39 homers. Yes, he struck out 153 times, but he compensated by hitting .293 with a .381 on-base percentage and a nifty .611 slugging percentage.