At this point it shouldn't be surprising to find another top prospect list with more than a couple Brewers prospects on it. Baseball Prospectus came out with their Top 101 a few weeks ago and also had four Milwaukee youngsters on it. MLB Pipeline saw the largest Brewers contingent with five. A day after ranking the Brewers farm system fifth in baseball, Keith Law released his Top 100 prospect list which includes four familiar Brewers names.
Top prospect Orlando Arica ranked highest on Law's list at 10th overall. That's in line with BP and Pipeline's lists where he placed 12th and 6th respectively. Each is a very high ranking reflecting the improvements Arcia made in 2016 and his overall ceiling as an excellent shortstop. Of note in his capsule on the Brewers infielder, Law said Arcia's "outstanding instincts and game awareness help his 60 range play up to even higher," and he "could be like Omar Vizquel with a little more pop, and the same kind of reputation for making the fielders around him better too." Sounds good to me!
Brett Phillips is next checking in around the middle of the list. We can count Klaw among those that believe Phillips will be a little light in the power area, say he'd take the under on 15 home runs a year. But he does think Phillips can stick in center whereas he notes some other scouts believe he'll end up in right. If that does eventually happen, Law thinks he could be a plus right fielder with his "Yoenis Cespedes-like arm," and "the potential to hit for high averages, with added value coming from his work on the bases."
In a somewhat surprising twist, Klaw ranks Brewers 2015 draft pick Trent Clark ahead of Brewers top pitching prospect Jorge Lopez. Each was in the 70-75 range though, and Law did have encouraging things to say about both of them. While he believes that Clark will eventually move off center to left field, he has a "sweet left handed swing" that should profile well in the corner.
He calls Jorge Lopez the best pitching prospect the Brewers have had since Yovani Gallardo graduated to the majors--which if you're not sure, is high praise as Gallardo was quite good for the Brewers. Law also praises Lopez's change-up calling it a plus pitch "for much of the season"--which is actually quite a big deal as it was probably the weakest part of his game for years. He goes onto say the floor is a No. 4 starter but with improvements in pitch selection and getting his curve "in the zone more consistently for swings and misses," he could turn into a No. 2.
Absent from his list was LHP Josh Hader. This probably shouldn't come as too much of a shock. He wasn't on BP's list either. The concern here is that Hader won't be able to stay in the rotation and is a reliever long term--Law mentions that in his chat from today. However not everyone is of the same opinion, as evidence by MLB Pipeline's high rankings.
Even with Hader's absence, this is a pretty good showing for the Brewers. What's really interesting is that three of the top four Brewers prospects--and four of the top five if we consider Josh Hader--could be full time members of the Milwaukee Brewers by early or mid-2017. That's one of the reasons why I keep saying I think the Brewers rebuild won't take as long as the Cubs and Astros'. That doesn't mean they'll be competitive in 1-2 years. I just think it will be much sooner than 5-6.