clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Brew Crew Ball Top Prospects List

New, comments

The official Brewers top prospects list is complete. You can throw the ones from Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and ESPN in the trash bin now.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It seems only fitting that our month-long project to compile a list of the Brewers' top prospects ends on the day of the team's first full squad workout. Below, we wrap our voting with a look at the list you put together. Following your top 20 is our choice for the next 10, though at a certain point the exact ranking tends not to matter as much and guys sort of fall into tiers. If there's anyone who you think we missed, you're definitely wrong, but feel free to tell us about it in the comments section anyway so that we can belittle you ceaselessly online*.

*I'm joking! I will only belittle you in my head.

Without further ado, the Milwaukee Brewers Top 30 Prospects:

The Community's Top 20

1) SS Orlando Arcia, 21

Arcia is a top ten prospect in the game and far and away the Brewers best hope for a future All-Star. Ceiling: Alcides Escobar in the 2015 ALCS. Floor: Alcides Escobar at all other times.

2) OF Brett Phillips, 21

A four-and-a-half tool player whose fringe power has yet to manifest itself outside of the launching pad of High-A Lancaster, Phillips could be Milwaukee's center fielder as soon as next spring. If he can get to the raw power in games, he could become a star. If not, he'll be merely very good.

3) RHP Jorge Lopez, 23

It'll be interesting to see how Milwaukee handles things with Lopez, the first of their top pitching prospects to reach Triple-A since the switch to Colorado Springs. Will they shield the 23-year-old from the nation's highest altitude professional baseball park?

4) OF Trent Clark, 19

Clark showed no real need to spend another day with Milwaukee's rookie level teams, as he raked in a brief stop with the AZL Brewers before dominating the Pioneer League. Clark will likely start the year the Timber Rattlers, joining a squad packed with high-end talent that could make Appleton as appealing a baseball destination as Miller Park this season.

5) LHP Josh Hader, 21

Hader continues to defy scouts that say his slight frame (6'3", 160 lbs.). max effort delivery, and uneven command means he's destined for the bullpen, logging a 3.03 ERA over 104 innings last season between the Double-A affiliates of the Brewers and Astros. Hader solidified his gains by dominating the Arizona Fall League and maintaining his increased velocity, landing in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 after allowing just a single run and striking out over 30% of batters in 20 innings for the Surprise Saguaros.

6) SS Gilbert Lara, 18

The Brewers largest international investment in franchise history didn't exactly set the world on fire in his first stateside season, stumbling to an 81 wRC+ in just over 200 plate appearances with rookie-level Helena. He didn't turn 18 until October, however, and the loud tools that made him one of the top international targets in 2014 are still there. Most of the questions surrounding Lara were about his glove but he actually showed more polish than anticipated, increasing optimism that he might be able to stick at shortstop long term.

7) C Jacob Nottingham, 20

If he can manage to stick as even a slightly below-average defender behind the dish, the Sheriff has a chance to become a star in Milwaukee, because his offensive tools are loud. As the only impact prospect in the system for either position, however, it wouldn't be a complete disaster if he was forced to slide over to first, and his bat looks like it can carry either position.

8) RHP Cody Ponce, 21

The darling of the Brewers blogosphere looked good in his debut season, and could zoom quickly through the Brewers' system. At 6'6", 240 lbs. Ponce is an imposing presence on the mound, and he regularly touches the mid-to-high 90's with his fastball. If he can continue to develop his secondary offerings, Ponce could be a mainstay in the Brewers starting rotation as soon as 2018.

9) RHP Zach Davies, 23

It is extremely important to spell Davies' first name correctly, so as not to confuse him with the white supremacist who tried to murder an Asian dentist in a grocery store with a hammer and a machete. Davies had a strong debut in the major league rotation last season, but may find himself the odd man out to start 2016 after the acquisition of Chase Anderson. Either way, he has little left to prove at the minor league level.

10) RHP Devin Williams, 21

The consensus top pitching prospect in the system a year ago, Williams has fallen all the way to fifth, though it's through no fault of his own, as he was solid again at Class-A Wisconsin in 2015. Another casualty of the Brewers' rapidly improving farm system, there is no less shine on Williams star than there was a year ago.

11) LHP Kodi Medeiros, 19

Klub Med (this is a nickname I have just giving Kodi just now, please use this from now on) has put up big strikeout numbers in his first two professional seasons, but he's also been too prone to giving away free passes. He brought the walk rate down last season and also saw his ugly 2.09 WHIP from 2014 come down as the .431 BABIP he was victimized by in his freshman year normalized.

12) SS Isan Diaz, 19

Giving up the SSINO prospect was the price the Diamondbacks paid to acquire Jean Segura and unload Aaron Hill's not-that-altogether-unreasonable contract, making it perhaps one of the most baffling moves of the offseason. Diaz, almost certainly destined to transition to the other side of the keystone, ripped apart the Pioneer League last season, posting the league's highest OPS since 2008, a span that includes league-leading performances from Corey Dickerson, Joc Pederson and Paul Goldschmidt.

13) OF Clint Coulter, 22

Coulter's raw numbers dropped in 2015 as he spent the season in the offensive wasteland that is Brevard County, but he remained an above average contributor on offense while transitioning to a new defensive position. Coulter is perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the Brewers system, as some scouts see him as a Top 100 player while others (*ahem* Baseball Prospectus) leave him off the organizational top 20 list completely.

14) OF Monte Harrison, 20

The somewhat inexperienced former four-star football recruit saw his stock drop a little last season as he was completely overwhelmed by the competition with Wisconsin, striking out more than 40% of the time before the Brewers cried uncle and sent him back down to Helena. He seemed to be figuring some things out before a gruesome ankle injury ended his season in July. How Harrison recovers from the injury and the lost development time will be interesting to watch in 2016.

15) OF Demi Orimoloye, 19

Not only is Demi an absolute toolshed, he's also the answer to the trivia question, "How the heck did Travis beat Bryan Grosnick and Zack Moser in the BP Annual Drinking Game?" He'll need to improve the plate discipline, but he wasn't expected to come over as a polished prospect that would zoom through the system.

16) OF Tyrone Taylor, 22

Perhaps no player represents the transformation of the Brewers' farm system better than Taylor who was considered, by some, Milwaukee's top prospect last season. Taylor was one of the few players who disappointed at Biloxi last season, and with the Brewers stacked in the outfield at the near-major league level, Taylor could find himself repeating a level this season to see if he can sort things out.

17) RHP Marcos Diplan, 19

Another guy with a slight build that seems to destined for the bullpen, Diplan was solid over 50.1 innings in his first season in the the Brewers system. Diplan is still starting for now, and he's alsos most likely ticketed for Appleton in 2016.

18) OF Michael Reed, 23

There are plenty of folks who are much higher on Reed, including our own Derek Harvey and ESPN's Keith Law, who tagged him as the No. 5 prospect in the Brewers system. He can play center field in an emergency but is much better suited to a corner outfield role, and he likely fits long term as a very good fourth outfielder.

19) SS Jacob Gatewood, 20

The favorite of extremely important prospect poll hackers everywhere, Gatewood had a very similar season to Harrison, as he was relatively successful in the Pioneer League but was exposed with the T-Rats, where he hit .209/.275/.316 in a pair of unsuccessful stints. The general consensus is that Gatewood will eventually slide to either the right of shortstop or the outfield, and if that's the case he'll need to develop a better hit tool to carry the hot corner offensively.

20) RHP Adrian Houser, 23

Houser technically holds the Major League record for lowest career ERA, an honor I'm sure he hopes to lose this season as he seeks to add to his 2.0 career innings pitched.

Best of the Rest

21) OF Rymer Liriano, 24

Liriano entered the 2015 season as a consensus top five prospect in the Padres' system, and all he did at Triple-A El Paso was rake, hitting .292/.383/.460 with 14 home runs and 18 steals. So naturally San Diego DFA'd the 24-year-old outfielder, eventually sending him to Milwaukee for a bag of peanuts.

22) OF Ramon Flores, 23

Flores has done nothing but hit throughout his minor league career. He struggled a bit in a very brief cameo with the Yankees last year, before beign traded to the Mariners, where he absolutely dominated with Triple-A Tacoma, hitting .423/.524/.654 in 63 at bats before an ankle injury ended his season. It was assumed that Flores wouldn't be ready to start the season, but he's healthy and ready to go today in Maryvale. Flores is out of options so the Brewers will need to bring him to Milwaukee to start the season or expose him to waivers, where he'll almost certainly be claimed.

23) RHP Nathan Kirby, 22

The Brewers supplemental first round pick last year sputtered in a very brief stint in Appleton last season and will miss all of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. The upside as a mid-rotation starter is still there, but Kirby is now one of the biggest risks in the system.

24) 3B Garin Cecchini, 24

Look, part of believing that Cecchini can figure it out and become a steal and the Brewers' third baseman of the future requires that you ignore everything he did in 2015, which is exactly what I intend to do. Cecchini was solid in his 2014 debut with the Red Sox, posting a 130 wRC+ in a brief 36 PA tryout.

25) RHP Bubba Derby, 22

The other piece of the trade that sent Khris Davis to Oakland, Bowdein Henry Asa Derby dominated at Low-A Vermont, allowing just three earned runs in 34.2 innings while striking out nearly 35% of opposing batters. The 2015 sixth round pick has the chance to become much more than a throw in organizational-type, and could have Billy Beane kicking himself in a couple of years.

26) LHP Wei-Chung Wang, 23

The Brewers stepped off the Wang roller coaster briefly last season when they chose to DFA the struggling lefty after he started the season with a 5.93 ERA in 60.2 innings for Class-A Wisconsin. Wang cleared waivers, allowing the Brewers to keep him, and he received that message: in 85.0 innings after he was outrighted, Wang posted a 1.59 ERA with three complete games in 85 innings.

27) RHP Damien Magnifico, 24

The best name in a farm system full of 80-grade monikers, Magnifico dazzled as a key part of the Shuckers bullpen, recorded a 1.17 ERA and 20 saves in 42 appearances. He was impressive in his stint in the Arizona Fall League as well, outside of one disastrous outing in which he surrendered four runs and recorded just a single out.

28) 2B Javier Betancourt, 20

Betancourt perhaps disappointed some Brewers fans as the underwhelming trade return for former closer Francisco Rodriguez. Others, like me, were happy to see Rodriguez gone no matter what the return, while a still smaller group is just happy to have a Betancourt back in the fold.

29) LHP Sean Nolin, 26

Supposedly the most MLB-ready prospect the A's received in the Josh Donaldson trade, Nolin failed to produce positive results, recorded a 5.28 ERA in six starts last season. He was solid at the Triple-A level, however, and figures to be given strong consideration for the Brewers bullpen since he is out of options.

30) OF Troy Stokes, 20

The fourth round pick in the 2014 draft has a couple of solid seasons under his belt in the Arizona League in 2014 and with Helena last season. He walks at about a 12% clip which allows his plus speed to play up, as he's racked up 45 steals in two professional seasons.