Best of the Best: Milwaukee's Farm System
When you think of the best farm system in the league, you probably would automatically think that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, or New York Yankees hold that title as well as the bragging rights with it. How about if I told you that the best farm system in the league actually belonged to the Milwaukee Brewers based on the Top 100 Prospects listed published by MLB Pipeline?
The Brewers have 8 prospects listed on the Top 100 list, based on information for the 2016 season, but still an accurate representation of what each team in the league currently has. Besides the Brewers, the other top teams in the league were the: Atlanta Braves, who have 7 of the Top 100 prospects, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees all of whom have 6 Top 100 prospects. Only four teams did not have a single prospect on the list including the: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals.
Looking at the Brewers farm system in more depth, it is credit not only to current General Manager, David Stearns and the entire front office staff, but also to Milwaukee's incredible scouting staff led by former Arizona Diamondback Scouting Director/current Vice President of Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the General Manager, Ray Montgomery.
Montgomery and his entire team of scouts have done an excellent job so far in the rebuilding process of dealing away players for prospects who are top notch, will have a significant impact on the team in the future, and ones that will allow the Brewers to be a winning franchise once the top prospects have matured and turned into everyday players.
Fist up on Milwaukee's list of top prospects is Lewis Brinson. Brinson, who currently ranks 14th in the league, was selected in the 1st round of the 2012 Amateur Draft by the Texas Rangers and came over in the Jonathan Lucroy-Jeremy Jeffress deal last July. During his first year in the minors, he did record a 20-20 season, but also led the minors in strikeouts. Scouts commend Brinson on his ability to play any outfield position, throw out runners on base, and run down balls from gap to gap in the field.
The other prospects that Milwaukee currently possesses that also belong on the Top 100 list include: OF Corey Ray (Ranked 27th), LHP Josh Hader (Ranked 34th), RHP Luis Ortiz (Ranked 52nd), RHP Phil Bickford (Ranked 54th), OF Trent Clark (Ranked 62nd), OF Brett Phillips (Ranked 63rd), and 2B/SS Isan Diaz (Ranked 96th).
By implementing a strategy for building the game's best farm system and doing it in a way that makes sense, Milwaukee is showing fans it's commitment to the usual small market team vision of drafting as many players as possible and implementing an effective scouting program. While the results might not be seen on the field at this moment based on last year's standings, the team is headed in the right direction and with the proper amount of leadership, coaching, and maturity from all of the organization's top prospects, the Brewers will be able to contend in the NL Central for a sustained period of time in the future.