Major League Baseball announced its annual Top 100 Prospects last night. If you follow the Minor Leagues at all, this day is always a great day filled with debate, discussion, and comparison.
If you follow the Milwaukee Brewers, it might not be your proudest moment from a farm system standpoint. That’s because of all the Milwaukee Brewers players on any level – only one broke the list.
That player’s name is Wily Peralta.
Does this mean that Milwaukee is – as popular opinion would dictate – losing the war in player development?
Wily Peralta is the 63rd best prospect in Major League Baseball. Even though he might be one of the best pitchers in Milwaukee (Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)
To some degree, unfortunately, yes. When scouts and front office officials combine to tell you that no one on your farm system is worth a second look, that’s a difficult obstacle to overcome. Neither Hunter Morris and Scooter Gennett, nor Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley made the cut. I guess they must not be that good.
But is that the final vote? Is having a handful of players in the Top 100 prospects list a guarantee of future success for your club?
Of course not.
The truth is, there are a lot of reasons that a player, or a team’s system, makes the cut and why it does not. For example, Wily Peralta is already playing at a Major League level, and he winds up at 63. Which is not, most likely, where you would assume a Major League pitcher would end up on a top 100 prospects list. Jurickson Profar may be the number one prospect in the nation, but remember that until further notice, Profar will be playing in AAA because he’s blocked at the big league level.
The same goes for players like Oscar Taveras for the Cardinals, and several other members of the top 100 list.
Don’t forget, either, that even though the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs have all those top 100 players (a combined 21 players on the list) they are still the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs.
That is to say that these players need to be managed effectively and utilized appropriately in order to reach a level of potential that is, essentially, invented through a scout’s eye test. Now, I know that there’s more to it than that. Simply stated, you also know that not everyone on that list is going to pan out.
That’s not to say that I’m perfectly fine with the fact that only one Milwaukee Brewer is currently on the top 100 prospects list. It’s a little disheartening to scroll through the list and basically be told by MLB.com and the scout’s community that the future of Milwaukee does not look bright from a Minor League perspective. But things change.
Just don’t tell the people that make the list.