The Huntsville Stars seem aptly named this year. The AA dynamo that is chalk-full of prospects will send 10 of its players to the Southern League All-Star team. The Southern League is one of two leagues in AA and is known more for its pitching than hitting.
C Angel Salome, 1B Chris Errecart, SS Alcides Escobar, 3B Mat Gamel, RF Matt LaPorta, CF Michael Brantley, SP David Welch, SP Steve Hammond, RP Joe Bateman and RP Patrick Ryan were selected by Southern League managers, media, GM's and radio broadcasters.
Of these ten, Gamel and LaPorta will not be in attendance due to participating in the All-Star weekend Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. You will be able to watch them Sunday, July 13th on ESPN2. Hammond and Bateman will also be missing the event due to being promoted to AAA.
Much has been said of of this historic Huntsville team. The Brewers currently have two of the best players in all of AA with LaPorta and Gamel, Salome appears to be the "can't miss" catcher the Brewers have searched for, and a shortstop in Escobar that some scouts say could be the best defensive SS in the majors if he was up right now. Don't forget about Brantely either, currently in centerfield, he looks like a true leadoff hitter, currently hitting .324/.405/.412 with 25 sb's.
ESPN and Baseball Tonight have talked alot about this team lately due to it's close linking with possible C.C. Sabathia trade rumors. Peter Gammons recently stated that he thinks this is the best prospect team in the majors right now, and some scouts say its the best prospect team they have ever seen.
To get a grasp on what these guys are doing in a league perceived as a "pitchers league" look at some of Huntsville players current numbers in comparison to Corey Hart when he was named MVP of the Southern League in 2003.
Corey Hart*___70__13 __94__25__149__.302__.340__.467__.806
*Full Season, #Half Season
Just look at that, you have 5 guys that could catch Hart's MVP numbers and 2 that should absolutely destroy his full season numbers. I haven't even included Chris Errecart and Cole Gillespie who also could reach Hart's numbers. It really is mind boggling and at the same time incredibly exciting. Not only do all these prospects look to bolster an already young and exciting Brewers squad over the next few seasons, but they give the Crew an insane amount of flexibility to acquire big time players if needed.
There is quite a bit to be pumped up about in Brewer land this year and these Huntsville "All" Stars are just one more reason why you have to love the direction this organization is headed.