Milwaukee Brewers: Writers react to the mid season prospect rankings
By Trevor Hooth
David Gasper’s reaction
The new prospect lists are out just in time for the Trade Deadline and there have been plenty of changes in the Milwaukee Brewers rankings. In the pre-season rankings, the Brewers had five of the top 100 prospects in baseball. They now have six of them, but the prospects have changed.
Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray are still the top two even though Ray has fallen about 40 spots in the new rankings. Josh Hader has graduated from prospect status and is no longer on the list. Luis Ortiz has fallen from the 50s to #83 despite putting together a solid season. Brandon Woodruff has now joined the list at #96 followed immediately by first round pick Keston Hiura at #97. Isan Diaz has taken the last spot at #100.
The biggest riser who I felt was snubbed from this top 100 list is Corbin Burnes. He was ranked as the 20th best prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system at the beginning of the season, but due to his performance this season, he’s jumped to the seventh best in our system.
He’s pitched to an ERA that’s hovered around 1.00 in two levels! He did it in High-A ball and now he’s doing it in Double-A. Success like that should garner inclusion in the top 100. Burnes has certainly been the highest performing prospect Milwaukee has this year and the scouts that help determine these lists are probably still stuck on their original projections for him coming into the draft last year.
There are eight new names on this top 30 list as eight have fallen off. Hader graduated so the highest rated prospect to fall off the list due to performance is Jorge Lopez, who was at 13. Followed by Gilbert Lara who was just recently demoted from Low-A Wisconsin back to Rookie ball after hitting below .200 this year.
Also, OF Demi Orimoloye, P Nathan Kirby, P Devin Williams, OF Michael Reed, and 3B Chad McClanahan have been removed from the list. Either due to bad performance or injuries, these players are still in the system but are no longer considered top prospects.
When someone falls off, someone new has to take their place and all of the eight new faces in the list are new to the organization. Six are from the draft and Keston Hiura and Tristen Lutz, the top two picks for Milwaukee are in the top 10 (No. five and No. eight, respectively). Also, KJ Harrison (Rd. three), Caden Lemons (Rd. two), Brendan Murphy (Rd. four), and Je’von Ward (Rd. 12) have joined the ranks of the top 30. The Brewers first five picks made the newest list.
Two players from the recent international signing period have been included in the list: outfielders Larry Ernesto (No. 27) and Carlos Rodriguez (No. 29). Those two players are 16 years old! They were born in the year 2000. I’m not old, but that makes me feel old.
What’s interesting in this re-rank is that the Milwaukee Brewers farm system, which has been rated as one of the top five systems in baseball seems to have taken a hit in terms of top level talent. A lot of the prospects have been underperforming of late and the rankings reflect that. Before this update, the Brewers top five prospects were rated in the top 60. Now, there’s only one in the top 60 and that’s Lewis Brinson at #15.
Corey Ray has fallen to #70 and Luis Ortiz has fallen to #83. Woodruff, Hiura, and Diaz are ranked at #96, #97, and #100 respectively. The Brewers rank 19th in terms of Prospect Points despite being tied for the fourth most prospects in the top 100.
The prospects seem to have underperformed this year for the most part. Just look at their stats, only Brinson, Burnes, and Mauricio Dubon have really performed well for an extended period of time and have been consistently good at each level.
All the others were either coming off of bad years or are having bad years right now. The offensive prospects have really underperformed lately in the minor leagues. These players need to start performing better if they’ll contribute long-term in Milwaukee.