The work by Doug Melvin during his final season as General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers along with the first couple months of David Stearns’ tenure had MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo singing the praises of the organization’s farm system at this time last year. By the end of year one of the Great Brewers Rebuild, Melvin had brought in a boatload of promising prospects at the trade deadline, the club had just signed an excellent draft class, and Stearns had just started to make his mark on the organization by swinging trades like the Jason Rogers-for-Keon Broxton-and-Trey Supak deal. That combination of moves and signings lead MLB Pipeline to rank Milwaukee among the most improved minor league systems at the end of 2015.
The Brewers continued the rebuilding course in 2016, making more moves with designs on competing in the future and strengthening an already impressive stable of depth in the minor leagues. Khris Davis, Jonathan Lucroy, Will Smith, and Jeremy Jeffress (among others) were all dealt this year, bringing back some premium talent in return. Add another outstanding draft class to that and Milwaukee’s farm system was ranked as the best in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline in August. With their system rising from upper-echelon to elite status, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis (who compiled this year’s list) felt compelled to rank the Brewers among the league’s most improved farm systems for the second consecutive year.
The Brewers currently have eight prospects ranked in the top 100 according to MLB Pipeline, which is the highest total in baseball:
14. OF Lewis Brinson
27. OF Corey Ray
34. LHP Josh Hader
52. RHP Luis Ortiz
54. RHP Phil Bickford
62. OF Trent Clark
63. OF Brett Phillips
96. 2B/SS Isan Diaz
The Brewers also have 20 prospects who received overall grades of 50 or better, the most in baseball (the Yankees rank 2nd with 17). Milwaukee’s top 30 prospect list is comprised of 13 pitchers and 17 position players, and even that list doesn’t adequately capture the abundance of potential major league-quality talent that is burgeoning at every level of the organization.