With yesterday being the 122 game of the year for the Brewers, 40 remain. I’ve decided to begin a series called “Farm Fresh,” documenting one of the team’s top prospects each Saturday through the September 1st call-ups until the end of the season. I’ll give you the skinny on selected players (alternating hitter/pitcher) and when their chances of making it up to the majors will be. I will post the running list and the date on the bottom. Hope you enjoy!
Name: Alcides Escobar (AA Huntsville)
Age: 21 (Signed as ’03 non-drafted free-agent)
Birthplace: La Sabana, Venezuela
MLB Comparison: Orlando Cabrera, SS, Chicago White Sox
Minor League Accolades:
- 2007– Futures All-Star Game Selection.
- 2008– Southern League Mid-Season All-Star.
- 2008– Two-time Southern League player-of-the week.
- 2008– Rated as the club’s best infield arm and best defensive infielder (Baseball America).
- 2008– Rated as the most “exciting” player in the Southern League (Baseball America).
What he’s about: Escobar, as the only Double-A player on the 40 man roster, is arguably the best prospect in the Brewers’ system. He’s a lot like [Orlando] Cabrera and incumbent shortstop J.J. Hardy, as their consistent glove work has allowed them all to be successful despite the fact they don’t have elite power. Through 112 games in Huntsville this year, Escobar has posted a stellar .969 fielding percentage, a stat that earned him the nickname “Inspector Gadget” and should allow him to suit up in a big league uniform yet this season. Escobar has been a mainstay in Huntsville’s lineup along with catcher Angel Salome and third baseman Mat Gamel, batting .343 with a .378 on-base percentage and 31 stolen bases. It would be because of his excellent speed that he could contribute immediately on the base paths for the Brewers should he be called up come September.
Future outlook: With Hardy eligible for arbitration next year, Escobar is the likely candidate to replace him unless management chooses to lock up J.J. long-term. If they do, it’s unlikely Hardy will stay at short, with a possible move over to the hot corner. Look for Escobar’s full-fledged call-up in the spring of ’09, possibly even sooner.
“Farm Fresh” Prospect List:
August 16: SS Alcides Escobar, AA Huntsville Stars.
(more if the team makes the playoffs)