What We Learned: The Brewers Farm System

There’s talk and talk, and talk of how great our farm system is. I’ve seen it all over news outlets, from beat writers and other bloggers. But over the course of the last week, MLBPipeline has been releasing their Top Prospects list. Yesterday they released the SS list, which to no surprise, Arcia made the list (at #3), but as I poured through the other lists, I noticed something-there aren’t a lot of Brewers on there. You can’t find any on their 3B list, nor their 1B, or even their 2B list, and as I realized this, I thought well how great this farm system is really? After all, these are the players that Stearns wants to use to deliver the fans a World Series

I then found myself with the answer from John Sickels over at MinorLeagueBall.com-it’s not as great as everyone has been praising. Yes, the Brewers have made notable improvements over the last twenty fourth months in part to a roster overhaul, but still his analysis of the Brewers farm system wasn’t pretty.

Grade A:  Zero
Grade A-:  One
Grade B+:  Three
Grade B:  Three
Grade B-:  Eight
Grade C+:  Nine
Grade C:  11

QUICK PRIMER ON GRADE MEANINGS

Grade A prospects are the elite. In theory, they have a good chance of becoming stars or superstars. Theoretically, most Grade A prospects develop into stars or at least major league regulars, if injuries or other problems don’t intervene. Note that is a major “if” in some cases.

Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.

Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Many end up as role players or bench guys. Some don’t make it at all.

Grad A prospects are the most likely to be regulars in the show, and then some of those are bound to be stars in their own rights. The Brewers, yeah we have one-Arcia, which comes as no surprise to anyone. Most of the Brewers farm system Sickel’s ranks at are in the B range or players that have a good chance of making it to the show and then being traded away for marginal. There are fourteen grade B prospects in the Brewers farm system.

The majority of the Brewers Farm system is in the Grade C level that is they have good things going, but there still are plenty of things to polish off before there can even be an analysis of whether or not they’re major league material.

No matter how you look at it, the system is light on talent. Yes, it has improved greatly in the last 24 months, but it’s depth filled with C-ranked prospects who still have a long way to go before they’re ready to be daily figures in Miller Park. It might be awhile before we see a good Brewers squad again.

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