The Highs (and Lows) of the Milwaukee Brewers Farm System So Far This Season
Baseball America’s Midseason Prospect Update was released last week, so let’s take a look at who has risen towards the top in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.
Every year Baseball America releases their top 30 prospects for each MLB team and by mid-season switches up the top 10 depending on how well they’re doing. Like any farm system, some had early struggles that made scouts think twice and took them out of the top 10, while others made sure for the Milwaukee Brewers to take another look.
So, first…who has risen?
Hader is of no surprise as I’ve written about him with the AA Biloxi Shuckers before being called up to AAA Colorado Springs. He was ranked just outside the top 10 at #11 before the start of the 2016 season, he’s gone all the way up to #2. It doesn’t mean he’s got work to do as his ERA/FIP has gone from 0.95/2.15 to 7.16/4.90 going up from AA to AAA. But, anytime a pitcher goes up to Colorado Springs, the numbers have to be taken in with a grain of salt.
Nottingham wasn’t with the Milwaukee Brewers organization early enough to be put in BA’s prospect handbook as he was part of the Khris Davis trade in the off-season, but was ranked around outside the top 10 for the Oakland A’s system that is just below average talent wise. Early on in the season, he was struggling as by early May he had a batting line of .198/.263/.286. But, his signs of power (7 HRs) and hitting streak to get his AVG over .260 at one point showed some life to get his ranks up to #6. With more work on consistency and defense (12 errors), the Milwaukee Brewers hope he’ll stay steady the rest of the season.
Harrison isn’t necessarily one that has shown on the field the ranks should be much higher with a batting line of .216/.287/.361, but more so a player that has a very high ceiling for the Milwaukee Brewers. Injuries are nothing new to Harrison as last year he had a broken ankle that ended his season in July. He’s been out for over a month with a broken hamate bone, but his athleticism and speed is what the organization is excited about and just need him to stay healthy to show more it.
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Just being called up on July 10th from the Low-A T-Rats to the High-A BC Manatees, Diplan is much like Hader where his numbers seem to prove the reason he’s ranked so high. In 70.1 IP with the T-Rats, he had an ERA/FIP of 1.80/3.01. So, BA pushed up his ranking from #18 to #9. With Milwaukee Brewers fans referencing what trades have done, he’s a good one to recognize in the Yovani Gallardo exchange.
Diaz (of no surprise) is another one in the Low-A T-Rats organization and was part of the Diamondbacks deal with Aaron Hill and Chase Anderson. In a lower ranked Diamondbacks farm system he was part of BA’s top 10, so with his strong numbers (.256/.332/.443), he just makes the BA’s rankings with the Milwaukee Brewers at #10. The power is to make note with 13 HRs along with an impressive 125 wRC+. With a recent shift to 2B, Milwaukee Brewers fans hope he’ll be a good match-up with SS Orlando Arcia in the future.
Who Else is There To Watch?
While these are names most Milwaukee Brewers fans have heard of BA does make note of two other pitchers that may have been outside the bubble. RHP Freddy Peralta is much like Diplan with a fastball, changeup, slider, but doesn’t have quite the speed with less velocity (up to 93 mph). His delivery can be quite deceptive, so that might be why his ERA/FIP was a 2.85/2.92 in 60 IP with the T-Rats and he was also called up to Low-A recently. Also, take note the Adam Lind deal looks good so far.
RHP Brandon Woodruff was one FanGraphs was very high on, even though his stats may not have necessarily said much about him. The pure basics with High-A, he proved it going 44.1 IP with a 1.83 ERA. He can get into the mid to upper 90s and his strikeout rate stayed above 9.5 even when called up to AA. Although, with the Biloxi Shuckers his ERA/FIP hasn’t been as impressive at 4.04/3.20, it’s only been in 55.2 IP.
Who Has Dropped Down?
Many have dropped down not so much because of their performance, but more so because of all the acquisitions in the off-season. Although, some have had some rough numbers to make you question where they’ll end up at the end of the year.
BA points out RHP Jorge Lopez, RF Clint Coulter, and LF Victor Roache. First, Lopez was difficult to judge as early on many, including our own Adam McIntosh, pointed out Colorado Springs certainly will have an effect on anyone pitching there. But, even in away games he’s gone 41.1 IP with a 7.40 ERA.
Coulter went up to High-A after an impressive 2014 season with Low-A T-Rats with a batting line of .287/.410/.520 with a 165 wRC+. His numbers were slightly lowered in 2015 and even lower in 2016 in 70 games with a battling line of .233/.294/.337. Injuries in May may have affected his play.
Roache is another one part of the 2012 First Round Draft with Coulter whose had late struggles along with injuries. Numbers are quite similar to his 67 games with the AA team last year with a .243/.337/.412 batting line and 117 RC+. He hasn’t seen the field since June 9th and BA notes he’s had struggles with breaking balls.
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There’s More to Watch
This is much like any farm system where players are going to have their ups and downs throughout the season. By next season we might see names that were taken out of the top 10 go right back up. Many continue to give praises to the Milwaukee Brewers farm system and as the trade deadline comes near, it’s a good bet there will be more prospects to report on in the 2nd half.