The Huntsville Eight

(Earlier this week, one of our readers, a friend and fellow blogger, contacted me to ask about doing a guest post about one of the minor league affiliates of his beloved Milwaukee Brewers.  Since Huntsville clearly falls under the Bus Leagues umbrella, and Andrew is already a friend of the blog, saying “yes” was easy.

Reader contributions are always welcome.  To inquire about the possibility of doing a guest post, contact us at or

Hi, I’m Andrew. I was the one who brought you fine folks at Bus Leagues Baseball to the attention of the Wonder Mat(t)’s. But did you know that’s not all? It’s true!

For one thing, I’m one of the dudes at The Grand National Championships. But that’s neither here nor there, I’m just saying it to stroke my ego. Did you know that the Huntsville Stars have 8 prospects with Major League capability? And why I’m here is to bring them to you.

(Stats as of 6/20)

1. Mat Gamel (3B)
.367 14 HR 62 RBI .431 OBP .622 SLG

You know it’s rare to have a dude hitting .370 and not be within sniffing distance of a AAA promotion.* But Mat Gamel is just that man. His defense was so shaky last season that he seriously thought of quitting. Not to say that a .906 Fielding percentage is something that engenders confidence in his long term ability to third base? But it is a marked improvement over his 2007 at the hot corner. At 22, his bat is ready now, he just needs to consolidate his defensive gains. We’ll see him in September.

2. Matt LaPorta (RF)
.297 19 HR 58 RBI .411 OBP .610 SLG

Gamel may be the more complete hitter, but LaPorta has the power bat. His college experience has been able to get him from Gator Nation to the dominating Double-A level in 12 months. He is still raw on defense, but he’s improving rapidly. He’ll end up moving from right field, but he’s been more than worthy of his First Round hype. He’ll be in Milwaukee in September. 

3. Alcides Escobar (SS)
.333 6 HR 43 RBI .368 OBP .448 SLG 19 SB

Here’s where some intrigue is developing. Escobar is a vacuum-cleaner at shortstop, and his 19 steals come with 79% success rate. But he is developing power to the gaps (18 XBH compared to 21 last season)and nascent plate discipline (18 walks in comparison to 21). As a 21 year-old in AA? That’s just awesome. If he keeps improving on his plate discipline, he’ll be in Milwaukee sometime in 2009.

4. Angel Salome (C)
.349 7 HR 46 RBI .405 OBP .548 SLG

Coming off a 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, the power of the 5’7″ Salome was called into question. But as his 2008 statistics show? His gap power is legitimate. His defense is good in terms of the fundamentals, but he needs to improve the technical aspects on defense and he will never walk or strike out very often. He’ll displace Kendall sometime in 2009, but he’s engaged now. Sorry ladies.

5. Michael Brantley (CF)
.319 4 HR 32 RBI .400 OBP .409 SLG 19 SB

He 21-year old Florida native posesses the best plate discipline in the Brewers organization and is just a touch below Escobar in the wheels department. He has no power, and he is a tweener. (Defensively, he is best suited for left field or first base.) He’s got a Juan Pierre game with plate disipline.

6. Cole Gillespie (LF)
.272 9 HR 45 RBI .375 OBP .484 SLG

The Oregon State alumnus is somebody who plays above his tools. He has doubles power, excellent plate discipline, and excellent baserunning judgement for someone with average speed. His defense is solid and his arm is accurate as well. But with Braun locked up, the Kentucky Ninja Corey Hart being awesome, and LaPorta as the heir apparent? The 24 year-old Gillespie may be more trade bait than anything. 

7. Steven Hammond (LHSP)
7-4, 3.45 ERA, 88 2/3 IP, 33 BB, 78 SO

For a 26 year-old Long Beach State alumnus who is repeating a level for the second time, the veracity of his prospectdom may not be exactly the most sound. He has a deceptive devilvery which enhances an average fastball that touches 91. He’ll challenge hitters and keep the ball down, but as the walk total shows? He does lose his command. He may never be one of the top Brewer prospects, but he will get starts.

8. Omar Aguilar (Closer)
0-1 4.00 ERA 3 SV 9 IP 6 BB 7 SO

A recent promotion to AA has many in the Brewers organization excited. Aguilar was destroying Brevard County to the tune of 13 hits and 1 earned run allowed in 25 and 2/3 IP, and he can generate excellent velocity on his fastball, though his command is shaky. The stocky (5’11”, 227) native of Merced, California is currently off to a slow start, but the Brewers want a Joakim Soria for their very own.

Honorable Mention: Chris Errecart (1B)
.271 11 HR 28 RBI .343 OBP .510 SLG

An excellent power hitter, Errecart can play tag with the leftfield fence when he makes contact. But his plate discipline is marginal, and 64 strikeouts in 210 at bats is a scary proposition for the 23 year-old. Though I would not count him out, he has overcome back problems, and his power is real. Nevertheless, of all those who could be inflated from the awesome that is Hunstville?  Errecart would be the most logical choice.

I give you nine prospects, from the top of the pops to the next Ryan Garko. But that’s not the amazing thing. The amazing thing is that with all this talent? All the stars and studs in Huntsville?

They didn’t win the Division.


7 responses to this post.

  1. […] The Huntsville Eight. It’s here and it’s awesome. […]


  2. Great post. That team is truly firing on all cylinders.


  3. no entiendo imgles pero solo queria saludar a una persona con un apellido ten grande,somos pocos pero buenos,perdon si moleste


  4. Posted by leuryescobar on January 25, 2009 at 7:48 am


    Alcides Escobar is my husband puts tears in my eyes how someone with so much future could be so irresponsible. You have no idea what he has done to me and his daughter. Most of the time fans only see the players as an idol but they never see what they really are as people. I’ve always believed that being a great prospect or great player not only involves doing good in the field but also doing good to others in life specially to their own flesh and blood in this case our daughter Gabriela who is only one month old. I hope you don’t think that the reason why I’m writting you is to get any type of fame because honestly that’s far from what I want. My father is a former major leaguer I was raised in baseball and if I wanted fame I could have had plenty of it through him and never have. The only reason for my email is because I want everyone who is an Alcides Escobar fan to know the truth behind the person they see on the field. Everyone deserves to have a good role model in their lives and after everything Alcides has done to me his wife, his daughter and his mother and father I don’t believe he can be anyones role model. If you read below you’ll understand a little better what I mean.

    Alcides and I got married last year in Huntsville and we found out I was pregnant soon after. Our life was full of hope and he did great that season so well that he got called up from double A to the major leagues. After the season was done he went to venezuela and I came to Panama to have our daughter because my family lives here, this is when my worst nightmare started. I couldnt go to venezuela due to the problems that VNZL has with the US and I’m a US citizen. He abandonded me since october 7th. He was suppose to come and spend Christmas with me and never did, he was suppose to spend New Years with me and never did either. He only called to emotionally insult me and tell me that I was fat and ugly and that he had found someone better, all this while I was pregnat with our daughter. He later told me that the only reason why he married me was to get his green card. He would constantly call and send text messages insulting me and telling me that the baby wasn’t his which he knows is a complete lie and a DNA test will be there to prove it, he would call me and put his mistress on the phone to insult me. She is a prostitute in Venezuela who has slept with almost the entire country to say the least and all she has always wanted was money. She has a son who she abandoned and last I know now she is pregnant with Alcides child. It’s been so hard for me to find out while pregnant all this things and that I married a monster. Alcides got kicked off his team in Venezuela Cardenales due to bad conduct. Everyone believes that the little time he spent in the majors made his head swell to the max.Nobody respects him in Venezuela or in the Brewers organization because everyone knows what’s going on.His own mother and father and brothers and sisters want nothing to do with him to the point that they kicked him out of his house. He had a car accident in Venezuela in December where he totalled the car he was driving so to this day nobody knows what he will or will not achieve this upcoming year due to the fact that he has many loose screws as you can see.

    He didnt come for our daughters birth, hasnt called once to see how she is doing and refused to come to get her passport through the embassy so I had to file for everything on my own and file for full custody through the embassy. He hasn’t sent me or his daughter a penny since he has been in venezuela where he was playing winter ball and making 4,000 a month. I am currently in Panama at my parents house and havent received a penny from him my daughter has been sick extremely constipated in the hospital because I wasnt able to breast feed her because of stress and everything Alcides and his mistress were doing to me. My daughter Gabriela was born two days short from 8 months she was born on Dec. 11th and was programmed to be born January 24th. So she was born premature due to everything you’ve read.

    The last email I got from his agents was stating that they had no money to send me my plane ticket to return to the states and I live in the states I’ve always live there, I only came to Panama to have my baby, This man the one you all call a top prospect is not anyones role model he has humiliated me, his daughter, and his family and goes around the world getting woman pregnant and leaving them like he did to me and the only difference is that I’m his wife. He is in venezuela right now and will be back in the states in Arizona mid February for spring training. We are legally married, I am his wife and have his daughter and everyone in the milwaukee brewers know that. He threatens me constantly and says that he is making no millions and is famous and I’m a nobody can force him to take responsability because he is now a star and a top prospect what you guys call him. A person that marries someone, gets them pregnant and abandons her in such an emotional time could never be anyones role modeI. All of Alcides fans deserve to know the truth behind milwaukee brewers number 21.

    Leury Escobar Moreno


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