After ranking the top 30 prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system, where does their farm system currently stand relative to everyone else?
It wasn’t that long ago that the Milwaukee Brewers boasted one of the best farm system in baseball.
For example, after the July trade deadline passed during the 2016 season, MLB.com gave the team the highest marks out of anyone because of the incredible amount of depth and top-tier talent Milwaukee had acquired in just a 12-month period. At the end of that 2016 season, Bleacher Report ranked the Brewers system third overall based on similar reasoning.
Those days are long behind the team. Between several graduations of players from those lists to the Major League roster, others being traded, and some failing to improve, Milwaukee’s system looks vastly different than it did just a few years ago.
Now that we’ve gone through the top 25 prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system ahead of MLB.com’s release of their rankings for the team, it’s worth taking a look at where the team’s farm stands relative to the rest of the league.
In short: the answer is not great!
Milwaukee ranked 29th in Bleacher Report’s most recent farm system rankings at the beginning of January. That largely stemmed from the fact that “The Milwaukee Brewers system is sorely lacking in impact talent now that Keston Hiura has moved on to the majors.”
MLB.com’s Mike Rosenbaum wrote that “the Brewers’ farm system is thinner now than at any point in recent memory” in the site’s end of season discussion of their system as well in November.
Both of these quotes really highlight Milwaukee’s current shortcomings in their farm. Most of their talent near the Majors, like Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg, and Zack Brown, are coming off of highly disappointing seasons in 2019. It’s extremely difficult to discern what those players ceilings are, let alone what their prospects would be for succeeding at the Major League level if they get there.
Is there any reason to get excited for Brewers prospects?
Others who are close, like Trey Supak, may go onto to be serviceable and productive at the top level, but don’t figure to be anything more than fringe role players. They may have relatively high floors, but the chances of them exceeding their baseline talent are quite low.
The players who do appear to have the best chance of developing into impact talents, like Brice Turang, Tristen Lutz, Ethan Small, Eduardo Garcia, and Antoine Kelly, also find themselves quite a distance away from The Show. Any of them could become a significant factor in the team’s plans down the road, but that’s far from a certainty given where they are in their development.
None of this is to say, of course, that Milwaukee doesn’t have some players that could be exciting in both the short-term and long-term. Players like Bobby Wahl and Drew Rasmussen should be a factor in the bullpen at some point this season, as will Devin Williams who showed real promise in his short stint in the Majors a season ago. Supak should also factor into the rotation at some point, especially if and when the team experiences injuries to their starters.
The Brewers also have some prospects who could easily find their way into top 100 rankings with another strong year. Guys like Lutz, Mario Feliciano, Aaron Ashby, and Payton Henry all showed promise in 2019, and could emerge as real pieces in the team’s plans moving forward with additional improvement. They could be players who make their way into a trade too if the team finds itself in position to be a buyer in July.
It may not be the deep, well-rounded system they once had, but the Brewers do have enough in their farm system to begin making the the long trek back up the rankings in 2020. We’ll see what the next few months have in store.