We all recently completed out Brewers community prospect rankings. Afterwards I compiled an aggregate ranking using eight different Top 10 lists. The result was a list composed of 18 different players. I found this to be a good representation of the Brewers farm depth and the strides it's taken over the last few years. Now we have an outside source to reaffirm that belief.
Baseball America recently ranked the Brewers farm system 19th in baseball. That ranking is far from a consensus though. ESPN ranked the Brewers 28th in baseball. Baseball Prospectus ranked them 26th. Minor League Ball ranked Milwaukee 24th.
Still, even to have a site as well respected as Baseball America rank the Brewers as high as 19th is encouraging. It wasn't long ago that the Brewers were considered a bottom farm system. 30th out of 30. At the very least we can say the system is improving. There's plenty of reasons to believe the system will only continue to improve.
The main problem is there isn't much talent at the upper minors. But this year Tyrone Taylor, Orlando Arcia, and Ty Wagner will open the season in AA. Clint Coulter, Wei-Chung Wang, and Taylor Williams stand a good chance of finishing there.
In addition to that, Devin Williams, Monte Harrison, and Jacob Gatewood will experience their taste of full season ball. Good seasons from them could shoot the farm system up a few spots.
Then there is Gilbert Lara. The Brewers signed him during last year's international signing period to a $3.1 million dollar bonus which shattered their previous record of $700,000. The money seems to have been well spent. He was the top prospect available and has since received effusive praise during fall instructs last year and Spring Training this year. He has yet to play in game action and once scouts get a better look at him he too could shoot up prospect lists, taking the farm system with him.
Of course the reverse is possible as well. If key prospects falter or fail the farm system could take a hit. Odds are at least someone will suffer such a fate. It's not a guarantee though so let's stay positive.
The Brewers have a new scouting director this year and so it'll be very interesting to see what approach they take in the Rule 4 draft. As we've established the farm system is much improved. It's home to a number of high risk/high reward players. Improvement from them and a solid draft and the Brewers farm system could feasibly find itself ranked in the mid-teens by this time next year.