When Baseball America released their list of the Milwaukee Brewers' Top 10 prospects, there was the usual excitement, but as always with these lists, there was plenty of debate about who wasn't included.
Prospect rankings are always incredibly subjective, but a common opinion with the Brewers' system was there a clear Top 4 or 5 guys, with a group of maybe 10 others that could be interchangeable after that.
That's an idea that's held up with another Top 10 prospect list released today. Baseball Prospectus agrees that Lewis Brinson and Josh Hader are the top two prospects in the system, followed by Corey Ray, Isan Diaz and Luis Ortiz (BA's list ranked those guys 4th, 5th and 3rd, respectively).
Baseball Prospectus's list looks pretty drastically different after that point, with Brett Phillips coming in 6th after being left off BA's Top 10 list altogether. He's followed by Trent Clark and Lucas Erceg, whose hot hitting landed him on both lists as the future of the Brewers' hot corner.
BP's Top 10 wraps up with newly-acquired infielder Mauricio Dubon and big right-handed pitcher Cody Ponce, who was hit hard in 2016 but still carried a decent strikeout rate and is still easy to dream on.
As part of their analysis of the farm system as a whole, BP says the Brewers have "everything you want" -- including potential high-impact players, quality depth after the top-line guys, an even mix of hitting and pitching and a balance between guys in the low minors and those knocking on the door of the big leagues.
Their grades have Brinson (70 OFP) and Ray (60 OFP) as potential All-Stars, Diaz (60 OFP) as an above-average regular, and Hader (60 OFP) and Ortiz (60 OFP) as mid-rotation guys at the high end, but even their more conservative projections see all five as at least league average regulars (Phillips, Clark and Erceg also earned above-average high-end projection grades). When so many of those names have some legitimate question marks they need to address in their games but still rate that highly, that’s the sign of a top farm system.
It’s not just the guys still qualifying for prospect status that are getting love from the Prospectus staff, either. The post also includes their Top 10 Under 25 list, which aside from the top 5 prospects already mentioned also contains Jonathan Villar, Orlando Arcia, Zach Davies, Domingo Santana and Corey Knebel. The Brewers haven’t seen this much young talent come through in one wave since the Fielder-Weeks-Hart-Braun-Gallardo days.
If you get the BP subscription, you'll get access to the in-depth player analysis and grades, but even just browsing what's above the fold, it's clear they're very high on the Brewers' future. It's also interesting to note the differences between this list and the one produced by Baseball America, which some criticized as being too performance-based, instead of focusing on the players' tools.
We should be getting more prospect lists as the winter wears on, including MLB Pipeline and John Sickels' system grades. You'll have a chance to make your voice heard, too -- we'll be starting our BCB community rankings later this week.
In the meantime, are these rankings more in line with your thoughts on the system?