Milwaukee Brewers: Thoughts on Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects List
By Ben Getka
Baseball America just came out with its annual Top Ten Prospects list for the Brewers farm system on Monday. Here is some analysis on how they ranked Milwaukee’s minor leaguers.
Baseball America’s Top Ten Brewers Prospects
- Lewis Brinson – OF (AAA)
- Josh Hader – LHP (AAA)
- Luis Ortiz – RHP (AA)
- Corey Ray – OF (Low A)
- Isan Diaz – 2B/SS (Low A)
- Trent Clark – OF (Low A)
- Brandon Woodruff – RHP (AA)
- Phil Bickford – RHP (High A)
- Lucas Erceg – 3B (Low A)
- Marcos Diplan – RHP (High A)
Too Low – Corey Ray
Corey Ray has the most potential of any player in the Brewers farm system. I understand that Baseball America likely ranked Hader and Ortiz ahead of him since he’s still so low in the system but his potential should outweigh that. Milwaukee took him 5th overall out of Louisville in 2016 and he was regarded as the best overall position player in the draft.
"Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 I Power: 55 I Run: 60 I Arm: 50 I Field: 55 I Overall: 55"
What makes Ray so special is his incredible athleticism. He has plus speed that will enable him to steal bases as a big-leaguer. Ray’s quick left-handed stroke makes consistent hard contact, giving him the potential to hit for both power and average. He stood out at both Simeon HS and Louisville as an extremely hard worker. He should be the number two prospect on this list because he has the highest floor to go along with the arguably highest ceiling.
Biggest Surprise – Lucas Erceg
Erceg’s journey to the Brewers’ farm system wasn’t an easy one. After falling behind in his schoolwork at Cal, Erceg was forced to transfer to Menlo, a small NAIA school. His 20 HRs and .308 batting average at Menlo after a breakout sophomore year at Cal led Milwaukee to take with their second-round choice.
With a .327/.376/.518 slash line in his time in the Minors so far, Erceg might just be the third base help that the Brewers so desperately need. Erceg certainly has the arm to slot in at the hot corner for the Crew. At Menlo he served as the team’s closer, routinely hurling 94 mph fastballs. His athletic ability and his power at the plate are the reasons that Erceg is one of the Brewers’ top prospects even after his tough past.
System as a Whole
Milwaukee’s farm system has gone from being one of the league’s worst to one of its best in two short years. The system is loaded with talented outfielders, almost to a fault. This depth can be traded for starting pitching down the road as the pitching in the Brewers’ system is good but not great. No clearcut ace of the future has emerged yet and most of the top pitchers (Bickford and Woodruff) look destined to be career relief pitchers.
Milwaukee’s farm system has gone from being one of the league’s worst to one of its best in two short years.
With that being said, Milwaukee’s farm system is clearly not lacking in talent. Even some of the players not on Baseball America’s list were highly regarded out of high school and college and are bound to breakout at some point.
The look of the Brewers’ big league roster will likely be very different in a few years and that is probably for the better. I know I can’t wait to see Brinson and Ray in the outfield or Luis Ortiz on the hill at Miller Park. The future is certainly bright in Milwaukee and Brewers’ fans are getting closer each day to seeing this farm system make a difference at the big league level.