Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that the Milwaukee Brewers have a weak farm system. But what may come as a surprise to many is how bad it truly is.
Every year, ESPN.com’s prospect guru Keith Law ranks each farm system (ESPN Insider) based on prospect talent. His list, which came out Jan. 28, has the Brewers in last place while the Houston Astros top all of baseball.
Here’s what Law wrote about Milwaukee’s lack of prospects:
"There may not be a player in this system who projects as an above-average player in the majors; the best bets are all teenagers who played in low Class A or below in 2013, and none is close to a lock to get there."
This is particularly interesting because Law was so high on outfield prospect Tyrone Taylor just a year ago. In 2012, Law wrote that while Taylor has raw talent, he might be the best prospect the Brewers got in the 2012 draft – a draft that included first-round picks Victor Roache and Clint Coulter.
Law continued his critique of Milwaukee by saying there’s not enough noteworthy pitching or non-reserve outfielders in their system.
"The system lacks ceiling and it lacks depth beyond reliever candidates and likely fourth outfielders, with nothing in the middle of the diamond and no starting pitching of note."
The Brewers made a statement this offseason by scooping up one of the best starting pitchers available in Matt Garza, but the future remains bleak for the team. Organizational depth is pertinent to long-term success. Owner Mark Attanasio, General Manager Doug Melvin, and Director of Professional Scouting Bruce Seid, must make smarter draft picks if they hope to contend in the next couple of years. Drafting wise, everything has gone downhill since Jack Zduriencik, former Brewers director of scouting and assistant general manager, left to become the GM for the Seattle Mariners.
If the Brewers are incapable of building prospect depth through the draft, as Law seems to believe, then trading players for prospects is the only other route.