Archive for May 12th, 2008

A Tale of Two Mat(t)s

You may have noticed that last week I kind of skipped the whole “Spotlight on” series. I realized that doing a link dump every other day was overkill, and also noticed that nobody was clicking on the links. So, instead, I’ll be doing something a little more fun – looking at specific teams and prospects that grab my interest.

Today, I’m checking out the Huntsville Stars (Brewers) as suggested by reader Andrew. They have two slugging geniuses who go by variations of the name Matthew, and some pretty cool promotions and such as well. So let’s check them out.

First up, the Mat(t)s. Here’s the 411 from Andrew’s comment:

The Brewers have the Wonder Mat(t)’s!

Mat Gamel .375/8/33/.438/.681/1.119
Matt LaPorta .336/10/38/.433/.688/1.121

I may be a homer, but these guys are raking in Hunstville. And they’re both named Matt! ESPN can do things with this!

We may have to wait a while for these guys to get to ESPN’s radar, but right now, they’re on ours.

Mat Gamel is a sweet-swinging lefty from Jacksonville, FL who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 amateur draft out of Chipola College, which has produced a handful of players who made it to the show. Gamel is a third baseman, and Brewers pundits claim he fields his position well. He worked his way up from Rookie ball to his current perch in double-A. The boy can hit.

Matt LaPorta is another Floridian. He put in four years of SEC baseball with the Gators, before the Brewers made him the 7th pick last year. With his NCAA experience backing him up, LaPorta has made a much faster rise to the Stars, where he is playing in the outfield and doing much damage in the batter’s box.

The Brewers are a young team, so no telling when these two Sunshine Staters will get their shots at the big time. We’ll be keeping an eye on them, though.

Other Huntsville Stars News:

The Stars are 26-11, which is good for the lead in the Northern division of the Southern League. I don’t know what kind of compass they’re using out there…

May 24th is Meatloaf Night Joe Davis stadium. You can register for the contest to determine the best brick of ground meat, or just taste-test and vote. If I lived in Huntsville, I’d probably indulge in the latter.

And, finally, here’s what the official Huntsville hat looks like.

Let us know about your favorite players at your Bus League outpost, and we’ll give their club the same treatment!

Out: Names Ending In S; In: Names Ending In Z

The Atlantic City Surf sent out a team newsletter on Friday that included the following tidbit about Can-Am League newcomer Ottawa:

The Can-Am League’s new Ottawa franchise has announced that it will be changing its nickname from “Rapids” to “Rapidz.” In addition, the club unveiled a new logo (left).

Understandably, they also changed the logo, from this:

To this:

It appears the name change came about because the team was sold to – hence the new “z” at the end – and the color scheme is more in line with the old Ottawa Lynx, which moved following the 2007 season.  Still, seems odd – the Rapids logo wasn’t half bad.