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Do we have a top 15 farm system right now?


PlayerHader
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Am I getting way ahead of myself?

 

We seemed to have hit on our top picks the past two years, although it's maybe early to judge. But since the pre-season lists came out, we have had Frelick, Wiemer, Zamora, Valerio, Warren, Gray Jr., Black, heck even Darrian Miller post pretty impressive seasons while being league average age or younger. That's ignoring the performances of the young guys in rookie ball or elsewhere.

 

These are newcomers in addition to our already well-regarded players, Mitchell, Small, Turang, and Ashby having pretty good years overall.

 

Small samples for some, for sure, and a lot of these guys are still in A-ball, but I'm pretty damn excited about this system right now. Is it top-15 going into next year? Maybe even higher? Am I high? Tell me, folks.

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Baseball America had the Brewers at 22 in their updated midseason organizational rankings.

 

The Brewers should not have any graduations I would think by then. Other orgs should have some.

 

Frelick and Binelas have started very strong. Valerio and Wiemer have performed awesome after promotions and the complex levels look incredibly talented.

 

I think it will be hard to jump 7 spots to 15, but I think they do break into late teens when they redo rankings this winter.

 

If that complex level group (hedbert, mendez, quero, garcia, etc) performs strong in full season ball next year, that's where you start see them pushing even for top 10 status.

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What's holding me back is the lack of obvious pitching prospects below AAA. I know that the Brewers believe in their pitching lab and development, but besides Kelly (and legit concerns about recovery from TOS surgery) and a couple of 2021 draft picks (no track record yet), there really isn't anything except a couple of high risk/reward relievers.
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What's holding me back is the lack of obvious pitching prospects below AAA. I know that the Brewers believe in their pitching lab and development, but besides Kelly (and legit concerns about recovery from TOS surgery) and a couple of 2021 draft picks (no track record yet), there really isn't anything except a couple of high risk/reward relievers.

 

This is where I'm at too. I think there is a good chance they are in the top 15 as far as bats go (Don't know enough about the other systems to be able to say it definitively). Next year their Carolina pitching staff will likely include some combination of the trio of recent promotions taking their lumps now (Figueroa, Rodriguez, Cornielle), the pair of JUCO picks, a few guys who spent at least part of this year hurt (Ramirez, Puello, Ramey) and maybe Segura or Zhao. They could really use a few of those guys to break through and become legitimate prospects in a way that this year's crop of sleepers like Vassalotti never managed to.

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I don't think so.... not yet..

Don't focus on 1 source for the rankings.. average the various sources together to get a better picture.

 

Baseball America

Baseball Prospectus

MLB Pipeline

Fangraphs

Bleacher Report

Keith Law/ The Athletic

Kiley McDaniel/ ESPN

Minor League Baseball Analyst

 

They all have value... Bringing them all together provides a better, more complete picture

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What's holding me back is the lack of obvious pitching prospects below AAA. I know that the Brewers believe in their pitching lab and development, but besides Kelly (and legit concerns about recovery from TOS surgery) and a couple of 2021 draft picks (no track record yet), there really isn't anything except a couple of high risk/reward relievers.

 

I mean, a big reason for that in general with Milwaukee's recent approach is that drafted collegiate arms that are already pretty polished climb through the low levels of the minor league system very quickly - Small, Ashby recently and Woodruff/Burnes had a similar progression. It seems to me that if the Brewers feel pitching prospects are developed enough to contribute at the MLB level, they don't stockpile them at lower levels of the minor leagues to use their bullets down on the farm and wait for their system rankings to reflect guys who dominate in A ball when they should be 2-3 levels up or even pitching in Milwaukee.

 

I get that prospect rankings are all just snapshots in time and often struggle to quantify overall value comparing raw but talented teenagers to high floor/moderate ceiling polished collegiate players, but the fact that Ashby is considered the Brewers' #5 or 6 prospect in their own system and nowhere near any recent top 100 list by any of these prospect tracking services tells me they really aren't worth worrying about too much. IMO, the Brewers' system is consistently underrated because of how they operate it since Stearns arrived.

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FanGraphs had Ashby as the #1 prospect in the system entering the season & currently has him at #103 in their overall rankings.

 

So what you're saying is according to Fangraphs, the Brewers currently have zero top 100 prospects? And this is based on recent rankings that take into account current production/development this minor league season?? Looks like they had Ashby at #127 preseason through his performance through high A - good on them for bumping him 24 whole spots after he progressed through 2 more minor league levels and is currently pitching pretty well at the MLB level.

 

Maybe just maybe he'll creep into their top 75 prospects next spring after he solidifies a rotation spot in Milwaukee.

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I think the Fangraphs "rankings" are a bit misleading. You could be 80 or 100 and be the same prospect in terms of FV (future value) which appears to be how they rank guys. Ashby has an FV of 50 which means "#4 starters. Approx 4.00 FIP, at times worse but then with lots of innings 1.8 to 2.5 WAR"
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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I am expecting us to be in the 15-20 range. Ashby is the one obviously underrated prospect I think we have, I feel like he should be pushing top 50 overall. We have a few guys (Gray, Howell, Black) who have put up nice numbers but I question if their current approach will carry them through the upper minors.
I tried to log in on my iPad. Turns out it was an etch-a-sketch and I don't own an iPad. Also, I'm out of vodka.
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I am expecting us to be in the 15-20 range. Ashby is the one obviously underrated prospect I think we have, I feel like he should be pushing top 50 overall. We have a few guys (Gray, Howell, Black) who have put up nice numbers but I question if their current approach will carry them through the upper minors.

 

Oops... meant to edit and double posted...

Edited by PlayerHader
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I am expecting us to be in the 15-20 range. Ashby is the one obviously underrated prospect I think we have, I feel like he should be pushing top 50 overall. We have a few guys (Gray, Howell, Black) who have put up nice numbers but I question if their current approach will carry them through the upper minors.

 

What do you mean by that?

 

Ashby isn't young, but he's still only 23 years old. If he is still eligible, I'm not sure how he isn't a top 25 guy.

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Brewer Fanatic Contributor
I would say, No. BUT, what's more important to me than the actual ranking is: the ranking heading INTO this season are now in the rearview mirror. We are better than they told us. BUT, we need another couple successful drafts and some pitching. I like our bats coming up. I like the unheralded performers BUT, man, the pitching is fairly weak below AAA from what I can tell at this early stage.
Joey Wiemer is my Spirit Animal
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I think the Fangraphs "rankings" are a bit misleading. You could be 80 or 100 and be the same prospect in terms of FV (future value) which appears to be how they rank guys. Ashby has an FV of 50 which means "#4 starters. Approx 4.00 FIP, at times worse but then with lots of innings 1.8 to 2.5 WAR"

 

Yeah, the FV is more important than the ordinal ranking.

 

Ashby is a 50 FV. There are only six pitchers on their board with a 55 FV and just one with a 60 FV.

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I think the good thing is that we have had more hits than misses this year.

 

Feliciano and Kelly have struggled with injuries. Lutz has again failed to deliver. But Ashby, Small, Turang, Weimer, Gray - and a bunch of others - have raised their profile stock. Plus adding Black and Frelick is great.

 

Thus, we are better. Perhaps not top 15 - but 20ish or whatever isn't a bad move.

 

Regarding the rankings we have seen, we have to remember many of those were done months ago. None of them could take into account Ashby's work at the major league level, for instance.

 

What the Brewers probably lack are the type of prospects that not only have big tools and production (and pedigree) but few - if any - question marks.

 

The amazing thing is how we have been able to develop players who have had serious question marks. Burnes, Woodruff and Peralta are all great success stories. I hope Ashby is the next one.

 

In the end, I think we've improved - and quite a bit. And it'll be fascinating to see how our investment in the Latin American market turns out. I think we have some great chances to develop some special players. But that takes time.

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I think the good thing is that we have had more hits than misses this year.

 

Feliciano and Kelly have struggled with injuries. Lutz has again failed to deliver. But Ashby, Small, Turang, Weimer, Gray - and a bunch of others - have raised their profile stock. Plus adding Black and Frelick is great.

 

Thus, we are better. Perhaps not top 15 - but 20ish or whatever isn't a bad move.

 

Regarding the rankings we have seen, we have to remember many of those were done months ago. None of them could take into account Ashby's work at the major league level, for instance.

 

What the Brewers probably lack are the type of prospects that not only have big tools and production (and pedigree) but few - if any - question marks.

 

The amazing thing is how we have been able to develop players who have had serious question marks. Burnes, Woodruff and Peralta are all great success stories. I hope Ashby is the next one.

 

In the end, I think we've improved - and quite a bit. And it'll be fascinating to see how our investment in the Latin American market turns out. I think we have some great chances to develop some special players. But that takes time.

 

I'm really excited about that last part. There are already a couple of exciting players down in rookie ball, and there certainly will be more coming if our development program continues to function well.

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Brewer Fanatic Contributor

I doubt we’re top 15 presently, given the pitching gap after Ashby and Small, coupled with a small question over how much the Mudcats’ hitting was inflated by horrid opposing pitching this season.

 

To me, next year looks like the Year of the Latin Mudcats, as that investment starts really paying off, while I expect hitting talent to be nicely spread out across Nashville, Biloxi and Wisconsin, hopefully with large strides by Turang and Feliciano.

 

The real question will be the development of attempted starting pitchers like (youngest to oldest): Figueroa, Vassalotti, Uribe, J. Cruz, Jarvis, Kelly, Lazar, Bullock, Murphy, Russell Smith, Castaneda, Knarr, Shook…

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What the Brewers probably lack are the type of prospects that not only have big tools and production (and pedigree) but few - if any - question marks.

 

The amazing thing is how we have been able to develop players who have had serious question marks. Burnes, Woodruff and Peralta are all great success stories. I hope Ashby is the next one.

 

I think this is probably the biggest story.

 

It isn't getting the obvious phenoms - although that can help. It's really about developing players and finding those who can maximize their talent, work to improve as players, and to minimize their weaknesses.

 

I know I get crap for some of the prospects I like, but for the Brewers to really be great, I think they have to develop the Ashbys, Woodruffs, Burneses, Peraltas, and yes, the Suters on the pitching side. They also need to maybe take closer looks at the Cooper Hummels, David Frys, Weston Wilsons, and Garrett Coopers as well.

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These rankings couldn't figure out that Woodruff, Burnes and Peralta were phenomenal prospects. They're dominant All-Star starting pitchers.

 

It doesn't bother me the same people can't figure out that Ashby should be a top 10 overall prospect. He's a future dominant starter and All-Star.

 

Most don't even have Ashby top five for the Brewers. If he's not top 5 in our system, then we must have one of the greatest farm systems of all time.

 

The rankers need to get better.

Edited by Never Outhustled

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-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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While this will inevitably change with trades, injuries, etc., there is a legitimate chance that next season, for the first time in who knows how long, the opening day lineups for all the full season teams don’t include a minor league free agent and where the only player who has even played for a different organization is Valerio. Big change from recent years. And most have at least some prospect status.
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While this will inevitably change with trades, injuries, etc., there is a legitimate chance that next season, for the first time in who knows how long, the opening day lineups for all the full season teams don’t include a minor league free agent and where the only player who has even played for a different organization is Valerio. Big change from recent years. And most have at least some prospect status.

This is a really good point. The org continues to stockpile upside talent. Eventually some of that talent is going to pop. True, the "blue chip" talent isn't necessarily there in the professional prospect evaluation circles but there is exciting talent all up and down the minor leagues. Another wave will come when the international signings come in later in the year.

but it's not like every guy suddenly forgot every piece of advice he gave
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Top 15? Sure maybe at 15 but when you get out of the top 10 there isn't much of a difference between 15-20 as you are just splitting hairs at that point. There really isn't that big of a gap between a 15th ranked farm system and a 20th ranked farm system and it is mostly just opinion based on who the people ranking the prospects like better.
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I think the biggest improvement with the Brewers farm right now is depth in projectable prospects across the system. Bottom feeder systems hope for a couple ready made draft picks that require no development to bump the system rankings up temporarily as they progress to the majors. That normally happens after the mlb team goes in the tank and they get to select one of the top 5 players a few years in a row. Good systems are able to develop talented but raw players selected in rounds 3-10 of many drafts and turn them into big league talents, particularly if a team drafts players in those rounds who aren't finished products. Finding international prospect talent also is equally importent to improve a system - the Brewers appear to be on the verge of realizing some of their efforts to improve that part of their organization with what we are seeing in lower levels of their system right now.

 

I think what the Brewers have built is sustainable to build a solid system at developing talent compared to previous runs where extended stretches of mlb futility led to consistent picks in the top 5 that created 2-3 year waves of talent that pushed their minor league system towards the top, only to see the system tank as soon as those players reached the majors because their was no prospect talent behind them.

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