Joe Vanden Avond’s reaction
Prospect lists are tough to judge in real time, both in terms predicting who will make an impact at the next level and how farm systems compare against each other. Look back only five years though and you’ll see why so many folks drool over these lists.
In 2012, to name a few, Francisco Lindor was #14, Carlos Correa was #34, Noah Syndergaard was #83, and Jeurys Familia was #97. While number one overall Jurickson Profar hit a home run in his first Major League at bat in 2012. But he is hitting .172 this season for the Rangers, has only played 206 games in his career and has spent two years out of the league with a shoulder injury. The point is, there are no guarantees.
More interesting to me is the Brewers top 30 list. When released, Brett Phillips was the fourth best Brewers outfield prospect, and he was the one in The Show. It’s a tough task to weigh talent and potential when some of it is Major League ready and some of it isn’t.
Phillips has had some loud moments in the last month, and the struggles of Keon Broxton have opened up a lot of opportunity, but there are only so many spots in the outfield for each Major League squad.
For most of the young men on this prospect list, it’s not a matter of if they’ll be moved, but when. I’m a supporter of a Sonny Gray type move before the deadline (even if we lose a Brett Phillips or Corey Ray in the process) because I believe the Brewers’ window to make their next serious run will be before Ryan Braun’s career with the team ends and Domingo Santana in right.
The best pitching in the game dominated the best hitting in the game at this summer’s All Star Game, and that has been the general trend in the last few exciting playoff runs. The Cubs, Indians, Royals and Mets all had workhorses in their rotations and lights-out relievers. The Giants had Madison Bumgarner.
The Cubs, Indians, Royals, Mets and Giants combine for six players in the Top 100. The Brewers have five. This isn’t the year to do it, but emptying a farm system seems like a small price to pay for a chance at a World Series.
The Milwaukee Brewers offense is good enough to win in the playoffs now. A Gray, Nelson, Hader, Anderson, Davies rotation could get the job done in the coming years if healthy, but the bullpen is what has to seal the deal.
Some of those arms may be home grown, but some will need to be acquired. I’m thankful David Stearns is the man with the burden of deciding when that is, because unfortunately, the bullpen in Milwaukee is too many pieces short right now to make the run we’re dreaming of.