What has been one of the worst and most disappointing seasons in Brewers franchise history does have a silver lining. And as wrong as it feels to say the Brewers losing gives us something to look forward to. It gives the Brewers a better change for a better future. By losing this year as much as they have they've given themselves the fifth overall pick in next year's draft.
For those that aren't familiar with the system draft position is determined by reverse order of the previous season. The team with the worst record gets the first pick, second worst the second pick, and so on. The Brewers have the fifth worst record in baseball this year therefore they have the fifth best draft pick next year.
Technically the Brewers are tied with the Rockies and Athletics. However the tiebreaker rule favors Colorado in this instance. When there is a tie like this the previous season's record acts as tiebreaker. In this case that would be the 2014 season. The Brewers finished with a better record that season and so the Rockies get the better draft position. Stupid Rockies. However the A's had the best record of the three and therefore lose both tiebreakers.
In the MLB draft each team maintains the same draft position in each round. So the Brewers will get the fifth pick in each round. However things will change before next season starts. The qualifying offer system is going to end up redistributing some picks and likely push back the draft picks after the first round. Until all of that is determined the final draft order will be unknown. The Brewers first pick will be unaffected though.
The Brewers haven't had a top ten pick since 2007 when they selected Matt LaPorta seventh overall. I think most fans would prefer to not remember how that pick turned out. They haven't had a top five pick since 2005 when they selected Ryan Braun fifth overall. That one worked out quite a deal better.
Draft position isn't the only thing that's important about getting those high picks. Each draft pick through the first ten rounds has a slot value associated with it. When you add all those slot values together you get the total draft pool a team is allowed to spend. This is similar to how it's determined how much a team is allowed to spend on the international market.
By finishing where they did the Brewers have given themselves a lot more money to spend. The majority of that typically goes to the first round pick. But having extra money to play with can allow teams to net greater talent in the subsequent rounds as well.
In 2015 the 5th pick was valued at $4,188,700. The Brewers first pick came at 15 overall and was valued at $2,692,700. That's a pretty large difference. The Brewers total allotment in 2015 was $7,743,800. That was the 9th highest draft pool. The Brewers should have a larger amount to spend next year even though they'll pick later in the competitive balance rounds.
Having this draft position and the money associated with it will give the Brewers a tremendous opportunity to bolster their farm system next year. And as they're now committed to rebuilding this is exactly what they needed. Even if they aren't competing next year will be an important and exciting one for the new look Brewers.