AA Dish: LaPorta, Huntsville Mash Away

We’re running out of superlatives to describe the Huntsville offense, but we’ll give it another try today. Matt LaPorta and Mat Gamel each chipped in three hits, several other of their prospect teammates had big nights, Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders clubbed two homers, while Blue Jays lefty Brett Cecil and Red Sox righty Michael Bowden were strong in the Eastern League yesterday.

Prospect Of The Day
The Huntsville (Brewers) lineup is just unbelievable. Everyone in the Stars’ lineup got a hit yesterday, with five of them having three-hit games. One of those players was right fielder Matt LaPorta, who went 3-for-5 with a walk and three doubles, giving him 17 doubles on the season. That puts LaPorta at .293/.402/.600 in 259 plate appearances, with a slugging average more than 300 points higher that his batting average and 34 of his 63 hits going for extra bases.
Prospect Nuggets
Perhaps we should just rename this section "Huntsville Nuggets." Huntsville shortstop Alcides Escobar went 3-for-5 and is now batting an impressive .335/.374/.457 in 245 at-bats. Scouts love Escobar’s defense, but he did committ two errors last night (one fielding, one throwing), giving him 13 on the year . . . Huntsville third baseman Mat Gamel went 2-for-4 with two walks a double, his 19th of the year . . . Angel Salome’s stock seems to be rising with every at-bat. The Huntsville catcher went 3-for-4 with two walks and hit his sixth home run . . . Huntsville left fielder Cole Gillespie went 3-for-5 with a walk and his 17th double.
In non-Huntsville news, let’s not overlook West Tenn (Mariners) center fielder Michael Saunders, who went 2-for-4 with two walks and two home runs, giving him eight dingers on the year . . . Carolina (Marlins) center fielder Cameron Maybin has gone through a hot stretch, which continued yesterday as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and hit his sixth double . . . Mississippi righthander Tommy Hanson was a regular atop the Hot Sheet at the beginning of the season when he was with high Class A Myrtle Beach. Yesterday Hanson allowed three runs in six innings with one walk and five strikeouts . . . Chattanooga (Reds) shortstop Chris Valaika went 3-for-4 with a walk and hit his sixth double.
What To Watch For Today
Watch for the Huntsville offense again, of course. On the mound, keep an eye on Mobile (Diamondbacks) righthander Matt Torra, who pitches this afternoon at Jacksonville (Dodgers).
Prospect Of The Day

The Blue Jays are slowly stretching out Brett Cecil, who yesterday went the deepest into a game that he’s gone all year. The New Hampshire lefthander went five innings and allowed just one run, which was unearned. Cecil surrendered three hits, one walk and struck out seven. Between high Class A Dunedin and New Hampshire, Cecil has a 3.26 ERA and a 41-13 K-BB mark in 38 2/3 innings.
Prospect Nuggets
The POTD could have just as easily gone to Portland (Red Sox) righthander Michael Bowden, who continued his outstanding season yesterday. The 21-year-old Bowden went 6 2/3 innings, allowed one run, three hits, no walks and had six strikeouts. In his last seven starts, Bowden has walked just five batters in 43 2/3 innings, holding on to a 1.24 ERA in that span . . . Trenton (Yankees) right fielder Jose Tabata left the game after getting hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance . . . New Hampshire DH Travis Snider went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

What To Watch For Today
Harrisburg (Nationals) lefthander Corey VanAllen pitches at home against Binghamton (Mets).


The Texas League had the day off yesterday. Righthander Blake Wood, a late cut from yesterday’s Hot Sheet, pitches today for Northwest Arkansas (Royals) . . . Midland sends righty Vin Mazzaro (Athletics) to the hill.