We've kept close tabs on the entire system for the past three and a half months, and with the All-Star break upon us, it's an ideal time to see how the Milwaukee Brewers' farm system talent stacks up.
The following system prospect rankings were compiled with potential and current production in mind, and do not include players who have accumulated any amount of playing time at the big league level.
1. Orlando Arcia, SS (video) (scouting report)
Born: 8/4/1994 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'0" 165 lbs
'14 Stats: .272/.328/.390, .302 BABIP, .330 wOBA, 26 BB/44 K, 13:5 SB/CS (363 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: Signed from Venezuela, 2010 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
With above-average defensive instincts and athleticism, Arcia's glove projects to be a plus tool at the big league level with some refinement to his fielding and throwing mechanics. Though I wouldn't label him a 'lethal' basestealer by any means, that natural athletic ability will allow him to steal some bases at a decent rate while providing terrific acumen on the bases. Arcia shows an advanced knowledge of the strike zone for his age, and has the ability to barrel the ball up with consistent and present gap power to all fields.
2. Tyrone Taylor, CF (video)
Born: 1/22/1994 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'0", 185 lbs
'14 Stats: .278/.327/.434, .298 BABIP, .347 wOBA, 23 BB/38 K, 12:3 SB/CS (366 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2012 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
Baseball Prospectus tabbed Taylor as the system's top prospect coming into the season, and it's easy to see why. He offers an intriguing combination of athleticism and instincts from a premium defensive position and a sound, gap-to-gap approach at the plate thanks to a quick-twitch swing without any discernible holes to it. All he needs to show from now until the end of the season with Brevard County is that he can maintain this level of production, because all indications are that his game will hold up well in the Southern League next season.
3. Kodi Medeiros, LHP (video)
Born: 5/25/1996 | B/T: L/L | Height/Weight: 6'2", 180 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2014 | Current Team: AZL Brewers
Many have and will continue to say the Brewers reached by taking Medeiros No. 14 overall in June, but I couldn't disagree more. The former Hawaii prepster ran his fastball up to an easy 96 MPH (89-92 sitting velo) with some sink and showcased insane horizontal break to his slider from a low 3/4 slot at the PG All American Classic last summer, and is presently working on a changeup to round out his arsenal. Throw in his humility a hard-working family background, and Mederios has a fantastic overall makeup and should have no trouble translating his game from amateur to pro ball.
4. Monte Harrison, OF (video)
Born: 8/10/1995 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3" 200 lbs
'14 Stats: .250/.407/.344, .357 BABIP, .379 wOBA, 12 BB/21 K, 12:1 SB/CS (81 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2014 | Current Team: AZL Brewers
Milwaukee elected to go high-upside early on in last month's draft, and Harrison was one of those selections. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Harrison looks the part of a big league outfielder and plays like one, too, flashing a 60 OF arm at several PG events dating back to 2012 and premium athletic ability, drawing comparisons from college coaches both physically and athletically to Byron Buxton. Meanwhile, Harrison shows fantastic bat speed with line drive trajectories to all fields from the right side of the plate with solid plate discipline numbers thus far with the Brewers' AZL affiliate.
5. Mitch Haniger, OF (video)
Born: 12/23/1990 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'2" 215 lbs
'14 Stats: .263/.324/.428, .272 BABIP, .341 wOBA, 19 BB/38 K, 4:0 SB/CS (264 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 | Current Team: Double-A Huntsville
Despite not having a tool that projects to be plus-plus at the major league level, productive showings in low-A, high-A, spring training and the Arizona Fall League proved Haniger might be the most well-rounded outfielder in the system. His first go-around in the Southern League to begin 2014 was nothing short of disastrous, posting a .615 OPS in the month of April, though he recovered to generate an admirable .304/.356/.480 line from May 1 to June 13, which was the last time the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo product has seen playing time due to injury. If he can improve his plate coverage and develop more power to all fields, there'll be a spot for him in a big league lineup.
6. Gilbert Lara, SS (video, analysis)
Born: 10/30/1997 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3", 205 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: Signed from Dominican Republic, 2014
Ranked the No. 5 international prospect by Ben Badler of Baseball America late last month, Milwaukee officially announced its acquisition of Lara just four days ago for a lofty $3.1 million. Reports indicate that 16-year-old is a physically matured 6'3" with athletic ability below what you'd expect for a kid his age -- which should project him more as a third baseman that shortstop. However, the raw power is ridiculous even with very pull-happy swing that featured bat speed and loft, and that natural ability alone makes him a top-five prospect in my mind.
7. Devin Williams, RHP (video)
Born: 9/21/1994 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3" 165 lbs
'14 Stats: 5.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 24 K/7 BB, 51.4% GBs, .302 BAA, .371 oppBABIP (24 IP)
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2013 | Current Team: Rookie-level Helena
Do yourself a favor by ignoring Williams' current 4.14 professional earned run average, and his ERA each of the next two seasons. It doesn't matter. No right-handed pitcher in the system offers more potential than Williams, who at 19 years old finds himself in the Pioneer League with a strikeout per inning and a still physically developing 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame. I have no doubt he'll maintain that level of strikeout production, as Williams already has a feel for his changeup and knows when to elevate his projected 70-grade fastball. Throw in a slider and you've got a very nice mid-rotation arm down the road.
8. Jacob Gatewood, SS (video)
Born: 9/25/1995 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'5", 190 lbs
'14 Stats: .209/.247/.239, .326 BABIP, .236 wOBA, 4 BB/26 K, 2:3 SB/CS (74 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2014 | Current Team: AZL Brewers
Featuring the most raw power of any amateur player in the 2014 draft class, Gatewood's production early in his pro carer has not been what many -- myself included -- had hoped for. Strikeouts are among the biggest of concerns at this point, a product of his loud hands and exaggerated pre-swing load that have together left him susceptible to elevated velos and offspeed stuff in the dirt. This contradicts some of the reports from scouts who said he made strides with his hit tool earlier this spring, interestingly enough. But whatever the case, we shouldn't pull too much from his early numbers in the AZL league. He's 18 years old. Give him time.
9. Clint Coulter, C/DH (video)
Born: 7/30/1993 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3" 222 lbs
'14 Stats: .259/.398/.485, .296 BABIP, .403 wOBA, 51 BB/68 K, 4:4 SB/CS (342 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 | Current Team: Low-A Wisconsin
The Coulter who hit .324/.457/.608 with more walks (15) than strikeouts (12) in April has been nowhere to be found since, posting a much more down-to-earth .235/.376/.440 line with 36 walks and 56 strikeouts over his most recent 59 games. Why? Midwest League pitchers have likely figured out that the former first-rounder struggles with offspeed stuff, setting up shop as far back as possible in the box and lacking lower-half flexibility to handle benders in the dirt and on the outer half. Still, the raw talent and overall skill-set is there, and he deserves to be in the top ten.
10. Victor Roache, OF (video)
Born: 9/17/1991 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'1" 225 lbs
'14 Stats: .210/.274/.369, .263 BABIP, .296 wOBA, 19 BB/83 K, 6:1 SB/CS (297 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round 2012 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
Roache's first go-around in the Florida State League this season has been a nightmare for several reasons -- two of which include his capacity to strike out in high quantities along with being unable to barrel up the ball with any amount of consistency. I'm not sure if the wrist injury he suffered with Georgia Southern prior to the 2014 draft has had any say, but it's clear that advanced-A pitching -- particularly right-handed pitching -- has gotten the best of him. Let's hope his scorching start to July perpetuates, because if it doesn't, he won't see double-A ball for a while.
11. Ariel Pena, RHP (video)
Born: 5/20/1989 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3" 239 lbs
'14 Stats: 4.45 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 98 K/56 BB, 35.3% GBs, .198 BAA, 13.1% SwStr (93 IP)
Drafted/Acquired: 2012, via LAA (Greinke trade) | Current Team: Triple-A Nashville
Pena's 2014 campaign has been the epitome of a roller coaster, proving to be almost untouchable one outing -- a product of his plus-plus slider -- and following it up with as many walks as strikeouts the next -- a product of his lack of fastball command. Nevertheless, his above-average ability to miss bats has been consistent for Pena in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 13.1% swinging strike rate that would rank in the top ten percent of all starters at the big league level. He has the stuff to be a back-end starter in the bigs, but looks to be much better served as a middle-relief arm.
12. Tyler Wagner, RHP (video)
Born: 1/24/1991 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'3" 195 lbs
'14 Stats: 1.74 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 77 K/32 BB, 54.5% GBs, .224 BAA, .267 oppBABIP (98 IP)
Drafted/Acquired: 4th round, 2012 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
In a system loaded with underperforming former college arms -- particularly right-handed arms -- Wagner has been without question the most productive this season, owning a 1.74 earned run average (third-best in the organization min. 50 IP) and 54.5% ground ball rate that ranks fourth-highest among all advanced-A players who've logged at least 95 innings. His easy low-90s fastball with sink and power 11/5 & 10/4 slider have had a say in that impressive output, and continued development of his changeup will go a long way in determining if he can reach his No. 5 starter potential.
13. Jorge Lopez, RHP
Born: 2/10/1993 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'4" 165 lbs
'14 Stats: 3.26 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 70 K/26 BB, 54.5% GBs, .244 BAA, .301 oppBABIP (91 IP)
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2011 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
Milwaukee's lone representative in the 2014 Futures Game, Lopez's first exclusive stint in a big league rotation has been a successful one with Brevard County, inducing ground balls as an impressive 54.5% clip while holding opponents to a .333 slugging percentage. A big reason behind that production has been his big-bending 12/6 curveball, which projects to be a plus offering at the next level and can be lethal when located to the lower third of the zone. Lopez will need to develop a better feel for his changeup if he's to stick in a big league rotation, but he's managed to be productive with two presently average offerings, which is encouraging.
14. Taylor Jungmann, RHP (video)
Born: 12/18/1989 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'6" 220 lbs
'14 Stats: 4.26 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 96 K/39 BB, 58.9% GBs, .268 BAA, 10% SwStr (107.2 IP)
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 | Current Team: Triple-A Nashville
Jungmann's 2014 campaign began on a high note with double-A Huntsville, posting career-bests in ERA (2.77) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.07) over nine starts, which aided in his promotion to triple-A Nashville toward the middle of May. That success hasn't carried over as we as one would have hoped, however, as the 6-foot-6 righty's ERA since has skyrocketed (4.26) while walking an extra batter per nine innings more than he did in the Southern League. The high ground ball rate (58.9%) has been a plus, but just about everything else hasn't.
15. Michael Reed, OF
Born: 11/18/1992 | B/T: R/R | Height/Weight: 6'0" 190 lbs
'14 Stats: .258/.399/.382, .320 BABIP, .372 wOBA, 48 BB/48 K, 21:8 SB/CS (265 PA)
Drafted/Acquired: 5th round, 2011 | Current Team: High-A Brevard County
No prospect in the system seems to have a greater understanding of what is and is not a strike quite like Reed, who this season in the Florida State League boasts 48 bases on balls and 48 strikeouts at 21 years of age. Owner of a .399 on-base percentage (third-best among qualified FSL hitters), a handful of Reed's other offensive numbers have subsided, including his .320 BABIP that is significantly lower than his .371 mark last season. This really isn't a surprise, as his 15.1% line-drive rate is noticeably lower than the 19.9% he generated in the Midwest League last season. If he can improve his quality of contact, that BABIP should rise.
Rankings 16-25 (w/ notes)
16. Taylor Williams, RHP - Some effort to his smallish 5-foot-11 frame; can run FB up to 95 MPH (89-92) sitting velo w/ arm-side sink; tight 11/5 curve; changeup is work in progress; projects better to bullpen than rotation long term.
17. Hunter Morris, 1B - Hasn't played since 6/29 due to forearm injury; power numbers down; questions still remain with approach.
18. Troy Stokes, OF - Plus speed from the outfield and on the bases; average arm; quick bat head speed; spray hitter; line drive approach.
19. Christopher McFarland, 2B - Fielding mechanics need refinement, but does have decent range and athleticism at second; will steal some bases; line drive approach with gap-to-gap pop.
20. Nick Ramirez, 1B - Power is legit, but approach and struggles against off-speed stuff remains a concern.
21. Drew Gagnon, RHP - The 6-foot-4, 195-pound righty has all the physical tools and decent repertoire to be a workhorse rotation arm, but can't seem to find the zone on a consistent enough basis.
22. Jason Rogers, 1B/3B - The former 32nd-round pick has done nothing but produce with the double-A and triple-A club. But will there be a spot for him on the September roster?
23. David Goforth, RHP - Consistent mid-90s fastball velocity and a power slider are nice, but issuing nearly as many walks (21) as strikeouts (32) as a late-inning guy won't get the job done, even at the double-A level.
24. Kentrail Davis, OF - An impressive month of June (.340/.462/.415 over 119 PA) had me believing a promotion to the Pacific Coast League was in his near future, but the organization thought otherwise. Will solid value as a fourth outfielder some day.
25. Damien Magnifico, RHP - Strikeouts have been on the decline, while his ground ball rate has done just the opposite. Improved feel for his secondaries will be the key moving forward.
Most Outstanding Position Prospect: Orlando Arcia, SS, advanced-A Brevard County
Most Outstanding Pitching Prospect: Tyler Wagner, RHP, advanced-A Brevard County
*All minor league statistics were compiled from Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus*