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2022 Brewers Prospect Rankings


sveumrules
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It's that time of the year where prospect lists will start showing up, so thought I'd get a thread going to discuss them as they appear.

 

FanGraphs is gearing up to start dropping some rankings soon & it looks like the Brewers will be among the first grouping of teams getting released...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2022-mlb-draft-rankings-and-offseason-list-primer/

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FanGraphs dropped their first team list today, the Los Angeles Angels, & wow is that a brutal farm...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-41-prospects-los-angeles-angels/

 

Looks like the kind of system a team that has been contending year in and year out picking at the end of every round might have, not one that a team who has missed the playoffs seven straight years going 494-538 over that stretch despite spending around one billion dollars on payroll should have.

 

I guess hope Trout & Ohtani & Rendon & Syndegaard are all healthy all year & maybe break the streak of four straight fourth place finishes in the AL West?

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I guess hope Trout & Ohtani & Rendon & Syndegaard are all healthy all year & maybe break the streak of four straight fourth place finishes in the AL West?

 

That will be tough as the only team that doesn't look to be competitive in 2022 will be the A's. I think at best they miss the playofffs but finish third in the AL West as it will all depend on how good the Rangers will be and if the Mariners are for real.

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Cubs list published over at FanGraphs today for those who like to keep tabs on other NLC farms...

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-49-prospects-chicago-cubs-2/

 

#1 prospect Brennen Davis looks like he should be ready to make an impact in Wrigley next season, but the next five guys on the list are all teenagers in rookie ball with a combined total of 90 PAs at A ball between them.

 

Overall the Cubs have 16 guys FG graded at 45 FV or above, with only five of those having reached AA to this point. Unless the Cubs sign a couple two tree four more Stroman caliber guys when FA resumes they are probably looking at at least a couple two tree four years of rebuilding before most of these guys have any chance of maybe being ready.

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Baseball America released their brewers top 10:

 

1. Ashby

2. Turang

3. Frelick

4. Mitchell

5. Black

6. H. Perez

7. Quero

8. Wiemer

9. Small

10. Chourio

 

Badler had some nice things to say about guys who missed the top 10 as well in the chat remarks. I think Badler is one of the better guys out there right now doing prospect work.

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Here's a link to the BA Brewers Top 10 Chat which is free for non-subscribers...

 

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/milwaukee-brewers-2022-top-10-mlb-prospects-chat/

 

I'd probably have Ashby / Mitchell / Small / Turang in the top four, then a gap to Frelick / Wiemer / Hebdert / Quero five through eight, then another gap to guys like Black / Warren / Howell / Feliciano / Gray / Zamora / Valerio / Garcia / Chourio / Mendez fighting it out for the last two spots in the top ten & spilling over into the teens.

 

2021 was a great season in terms of hitter development, hopefully 2022 will see some pitchers make similar strides.

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Brewer Fanatic Contributor
Baseball America released their brewers top 10:

 

1. Ashby

2. Turang

3. Frelick

4. Mitchell

5. Black

6. H. Perez

7. Quero

8. Wiemer

9. Small

10. Chourio

 

Badler had some nice things to say about guys who missed the top 10 as well in the chat remarks. I think Badler is one of the better guys out there right now doing prospect work.

 

I actually quite like that Top 10. Thanks for sharing!

 

EDIT to Add:

Hedbert Perez, Jeferson Quero and Jackson Chourio I think all have Top 100 upside. Beyond the top 10 prospects in the system, I think Hendry Mendez, Russell Smith and Logan Henderson are all guys to watch as players who could be top 10 in the org next year.

 

A little Teaser. The full Chat can be read here for those interested https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/milwaukee-brewers-2022-top-10-mlb-prospects-chat/

(No Sub needed for the read)

Joey Wiemer is my Spirit Animal
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None of these lower level pitchers who couldn't legally drink last summer will probably make any prospect lists, but they'll be on my box score watch list for next summer...

 

Pablo Garabitos (20) | ACL | 15 IP | 19 K | 2 BB

Michael Perdomo (19) | DSL | 36 IP | 47 K | 8 BB

Domingo Mejia (19) | DSL | 50 IP | 67 K | 13 BB

Israel Puello (20) | ACL | 27 IP | 37 K | 9 BB

Edwin Jimenez (19) | ACL/DSL | 39 IP | 48 K | 12 BB

Rafael Camacho (18) | DSL | 45 IP | 42 K | 11 BB

Kevin Briceno (18) | DSL | 26 IP | 26 K | 7 BB

Alexander Cornielle (19) | ACL/CAR | 41 IP | 60 K | 18 BB

Stiven Cruz (19) | DSL | 52 IP | 73 K | 23 BB

 

Also intrigued by Leoni De La Cruz, who apparently didn't sign until he was 23 for some reason, but posted 39 K | 10 BB over 29 IP split between DSL/ACL, and Indy League signing James Meeker who racked up 22 K | 5 BB over 18 IP at CAR, though he was 26.

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None of these lower level pitchers who couldn't legally drink last summer will probably make any prospect lists, but they'll be on my box score watch list for next summer...

 

Pablo Garabitos (20) | ACL | 15 IP | 19 K | 2 BB

Michael Perdomo (19) | DSL | 36 IP | 47 K | 8 BB

Domingo Mejia (19) | DSL | 50 IP | 67 K | 13 BB

Israel Puello (20) | ACL | 27 IP | 37 K | 9 BB

Edwin Jimenez (19) | ACL/DSL | 39 IP | 48 K | 12 BB

Rafael Camacho (18) | DSL | 45 IP | 42 K | 11 BB

Kevin Briceno (18) | DSL | 26 IP | 26 K | 7 BB

Alexander Cornielle (19) | ACL/CAR | 41 IP | 60 K | 18 BB

Stiven Cruz (19) | DSL | 52 IP | 73 K | 23 BB

 

Also intrigued by Leoni De La Cruz, who apparently didn't sign until he was 23 for some reason, but posted 39 K | 10 BB over 29 IP split between DSL/ACL, and Indy League signing James Meeker who racked up 22 K | 5 BB over 18 IP at CAR, though he was 26.

I'd add Miguel Segura, Jefferson Figueroa and Brailin Rodriguez to that list as well (the fact that the Brewers pushed Rodriguez up to A-ball despite his age and stats to me seems to say they see something in him).

 

I'd say we might encounter a couple of these on the Fangraphs list, but it seems like they routinely got a lot of their info on the under-the-radar complex guys during instructs, and given the Brewers didn't have traditional instructs this year, we might see fewer appearances by this type of player on their list than normal.

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Baseball America released their brewers top 10:

 

1. Ashby

2. Turang

3. Frelick

4. Mitchell

5. Black

6. H. Perez

7. Quero

8. Wiemer

9. Small

10. Chourio

 

Badler had some nice things to say about guys who missed the top 10 as well in the chat remarks. I think Badler is one of the better guys out there right now doing prospect work.

 

Wow, Mitchell at #4, talk about a big dropper. Apparently there was something in that AA performance beyond the basic hitting statistics that scouts did not like at all.

 

Due to his lack of pop in the bat, I don't see Turang as being a top 100 player anymore, likely falling just outside that ranking (probably in the 125-150 area). I'm very surprised Frelick is not ranked ahead of him.

 

If there ever was a "go for it" year, this year is that year. It's a shame that the Brewers do not have more prospect surplus value that they can use to deal. Questionable if they even have one top 100 prospect value in the system with Turang at #2 on the list and, from what I gather, scouts seem to be divided on whether Ashby is a starter or a multi-inning reliever.

 

PS, Small should be way higher on this list. If the league really values him at #9 on team's prospect list, then he's the definite "HOLD" of the bunch because he is way under-valued.

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I think two of Mitchell / Turang / Ashby / Small as co-headliners is a pretty competitive starting point if Stearns & company do want to deal for someone like say Matt Olson or Ketel Marte to upgrade the offense.

 

That would give the acquiring team a pair of guys lined up to start contributing at the MLB level in 2022/23.

 

It's also a good sign that we have enough depth to possibly deal a couple of guys like that & not have it empty out the farm. That wasn't the case a couple years ago.

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Wow, Mitchell at #4, talk about a big dropper. Apparently there was something in that AA performance beyond the basic hitting statistics that scouts did not like at all.

 

I think they explained the chat (re Hedbert, also) that dropping doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on a player since there was a combination of improvement (Ashby) and new talent added to the system (Frelick, Black). That said, Mitchell missed quite a bit of time and scouts seem to believe that his swing is not well matched to his talent, difficult to reach his power in game or some such. As you note his AA numbers look pretty terrible, but the Brewers recently tend to push a lot of guys up the system to levels where they struggle.

 

A chatter asked about Small vs Ashby, as well. If you didn't read the chat, you should...many of your concerns came up.

 

Due to his lack of pop in the bat, I don't see Turang as being a top 100 player anymore, likely falling just outside that ranking (probably in the 125-150 area).

 

There can be a lot of value in a middle infielder who has plus defense, gets on base, and is good on the basepaths. I mean, Nicky Lopez was a 4 win player with a .378 SLG. (Whether he sustains that is another question.) There are a lot of big bats at shortstop these days, but historically the profile that Turang brings can play, and it helps that he's just turned 22 and has half a season of AAA already...he's been pushed aggressively so his offense hasn't had much time to develop.

 

In comparison, Mitchell is older and struggled quite a bit more in AA. Frelick is five months younger and hit a brick wall in A+. Both of them have promise but they are oddly similar to Turang, lot of value in their defense, more likely to shine in OBP than SLG, still young enough to dream. I cling to the suggestion I read that Mitchell was the biggest steal in the draft his year, so would probably have him higher, but they all have some weaknesses to go with their strengths. Also, the ranking itself is generally less significant that the rating, and I think Mitchell, Frelick, Turang are considered to be similar FV players so you could probably pick any order you want.

 

That said, as a long time prospect optimist, I have to say I think the system has a lot of warts and is deserving of its low ranking, at least for the moment. I like Mitchell and Frelick better than, say, Brinson and Harrison, but we don't have a lot of power bats in the upper minors and the pitching is really thin. The biggest hope I have is that the very young international kids (Hedbert, Hendry Mendez, Chourio, Quero, Garcia) come through, but most of those guys are a long way from the show. Aside from Ashby, I think I'd be ok seeing any of the top listed guys traded, assuming a good return of course.

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Turang is one of the youngest players in AAA, has been promoted aggressively and been a league average hitter at every level so far. And that's as someone with very good defense and baserunning skills, playing a premier defensive position. He has very good ball/strike recognition which together with the rest of the game gives him a high floor. A good defensive LHH shortstop who gets on base at a high rate? That's valuable, even if his ceiling is probably more Brandon Crawford than it is Carlos Correa due to a lack of power (even if I think he'll develop at least a bit more than it is now). I read a lot of posts (Here and elsewhere) from fans who seem to put Turang lower and lower, whereas I just feel more and more that he's on the right track and someone likely to help this team.

 

As for trades, I don't think we will see any trades from the top of the system at all. They have a lot of players in arbitration who will get expensive over the next few years, and I expect the team to take the route of trying to mostly keep those guys around until they're 1-2 years away from FA. That means that as they get more expensive, they need to fill other parts of the roster with cheaper players. That's where Turang, Mitchell, Ashby and Small fit in. Trading them for 1-2 years of an expensive player probably isn't the right move if we're near the limit of what ownership is willing to allow for payroll. I think the only way we see them trade their best prospects is if a Yelich-type trade comes around, with a player with 4+ years of team control. So someone like Bryan Reynolds.

 

I think the last few years have shown us that what was said early on in Stearns tenure is correct; That this team will aim to be competitive every year, and not subscribe to a window theory. You can look at the Rays: Trading your established players for prospects makes you weaker now, but it makes you stronger overall, even if the benefit is 5 years down the line. Now if you consistently make those trades for five years however, then you'll get constant reinforcements, and the trades won't be weakening anymore. Now I don't propose quite the churn they have, nor spending as little as they do, but the basic framework of sustained success is there.

 

So I'd expect that the trades we'll see will be more like the Hamilton/Binelas type; trading 15-25 ranked (Or lower) prospects for above-average players without big financial commitments. Not trading top prospects for the last (and expensive) 1-2 years of star players. But hey I've been wrong before, and didn't see the Yelich trade coming at all for example. Will be exciting to see how the team goes about things.

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If I recall correctly, they seemed to hint that 2-4 were pretty close, with all being bubble top 100 guys. There are things to like about Turang (the defensive reports, the fact he was one of only two Brewers prospects in the upper minors with a 10%+ walk rate and a less than 20% K rate, the level for his age) and reasons for concern (the power).

 

I'm looking forward to the Fangraphs one, especially if the lack of instructs doesn't affect it too much, just to see which sleeper prospects they feel warrant at least a sentence at the end. Is there a random mention of Blayberg Diaz or Shane Smith or someone like that to go with hopefully a bit on a few of the complex league pitchers?

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I am not all that concerned about the power for Turang as long as he has a decent OBP. Assuming the DH is in the NL next year or the year after Turang fits rather well into the leadoff spot or at #9. Yes it would be nice to have him hit for more power but not everyone on the team needs to be a slugging machine. There is room for guys who just hit singles and doubles and walk a lot in a lineup.

 

I think the injuries last year for Mitchell is more concerning than his numbers at AA were. He will start the year at AA more than likely and should be in AAA at some point in the next season. I think his power will come and once it does you will see a bunch of scouts saying that the power was always there blah blah blah blah. Mitchell only played 64 games last year which is about half of the season. I am not concerned about the production as he hasn't really played enough yet to fully determine what he is yet.

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The Baseball Prospectus Brewers top 10 came out yesterday. A good sign is that for the first time in a couple of years they don't make a bunch of snarky comments on how bad the system is. As for the ranking itself;

 

1. Mitchell

2. Frelick

3. Ashby

4. Small

5. Wiemer

6. Black

7. H. Perez

8. Turang

9. Zamora

10. Quero

 

11. Warren

12. Garcia

13. Gray

 

"On the rise"

Chourio

Valerio

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