It's that time of year again where minor league system rankings are all the rage, which at the very least means that spring training is about to begin soon. Over the past few years this has usually been a disappointing time for Brewers' fans, as the farm system had fallen into some disrepair in the last half-decade of win-now baseball.
It's a new year, however, and the new direction the Brewers have taken has already started paying dividends down on the farm. Keith Law recently ranked Milwaukee's farm system fifth overall after placing them 28th just one year ago, and yesterday the good folks over at Baseball America released their organizational talent rankings as well. The Brewers placed ninth overall, another significant bump up from where they were just one year ago in BA's eyes.
In the article Baseball America lists their organizational rankings going back to 2011, and since that time this is the first year that Milwaukee has ranked better than 21st overall where they were last year. The Brewers' farm was the highest ranked in the NL Central, as well. Pittsburgh came in at number 11, followed by the Reds at 12, and the Cardinals at 14. The Cubs fell all the way to number 20 after players like Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Addison Russell all graduated to the big leagues in 2015.
That the Brewers' farm system has so dramatically improved is a testament to the diligent work of both Doug Melvin and Slingin' David Stearns over the last year. Beginning with the Yovani Gallardo deal last January, the Brewers have added some 20 prospects to the farm system via trade, with most of those moves coming under Melvin. Milwaukee also had perhaps the highest regarded draft class of any organization in 2015, bringing in the likes of Trent Clark, Cody Ponce, and Demi Orimoloye just to name a few.
The great Brewers rebuild is off to a fast start as the organization has already reinvigorated its minor league system, and things only figure to improve down on the farm as more players like Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis are eventually shipped off for prospects. With several top prospects already at AA or above, there is reason to be hopeful that the Brewers may be competitive again by 2018. Until then, just be patient and enjoy sitting back and watching some of these young kids blossom into big leaguers before your very own eyes.