Spring Training is about a month away from really kicking into gear, meaning it’s just about the time of year when organizational prospect rankings start trickling in. John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his rankings today, and while he likes a few of the Brewers’ prospects, the organization still ranks near the bottom of the league.
28) Milwaukee Brewers: There is some talent on the pitching side but hitting looks thin.
While the system as a whole is looking better than it did a year ago following the Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum trades, the Brewers simply lack the high-ceiling guys prospect writers drool over. Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley were very solid picks in last year’s first round, but you’ll struggle to find people who think they’ll be much more than #3 starters. That still has a ton of value — if Jungmann or Bradley end up throwing 200 innings a year as a #3 starter, the pick will be considered a success — but it won’t rank you highly on organizational rankings.
Sickels is also right about the lack of bats in the system. His top hitting prospect for the Brewers was Taylor Green at #5, and as much as we like to joke about how he’s the Next Coming, if he ends up being an everyday player, he’ll be playing at his ceiling. The next bat on his list is Scooter Gennett at #7, who makes a ton of contact but isn’t great defensively and needs to work on his plate discipline. For the most part, it’s a bunch of guys who could be solid bench players, but have some pretty glaring flaws in their game.
The outlook can obviously change with a breakout year or two, but we were saying much of the same things last offseason, too. To be fair, Tyler Thornburg did have a bit of a breakout season in the low levels, and now we get to see how he’ll fare in a full season at Huntsville. But right now, it’s hard to argue much with Sickels’ assessment of the system as a whole.
If you’re wondering how the rest of the division ranked: St. Louis 5th, Pittsburgh 12th, Chicago 20th, Cincinnati 21st, Houston 25th.