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MLB Pipeline ranks Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system #5, releases updated top 30 prospects

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Just about everyone has been singing the praises of the Brewers’ collection of prospects this winter.

Milwaukee Brewers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Now that the calendar has turned to March and spring training games are well under way, we are finally coming to the end of ‘prospect season.’ MLB Pipeline is typically the last major outlet to release their updated organizational rankings and top prospect lists, furnishing them in groups first by division and then by rank within the top ten over the course of a few weeks. Yesterday it was finally the Milwaukee Brewers’ turn to be featured, as the organization’s farm system came in ranked #5 overall:

In the first full season of a rebuilding process, Brewers general manager David Stearns used well-timed trades of big league assets to acquire a slew of promising young players, including Top 100 prospects Brinson, Ortiz and Diaz, as well as Phil Bickford, Mauricio Dubon and Ryan Cordell. Those trades have helped the Brewers climb four spots in MLBPipeline.com's farm system rankings after checking in at No. 9 a year ago.

While it’s true that the Brewers were ranked #9 a year ago at this time, Pipeline had them rated as the league’s #1 farm system after last summer’s trade deadline. Since then, they have been bypassed by the Braves, Yankees, White Sox, and Padres. This is likely due to a combination of those teams making further trades this winter as well as the “down” statistical seasons experienced by several of the young players that are considered Milwaukee’s best.

The biggest jump on this year’s list was Brandon Woodruff, who began last season ranked #29. After leading the minor leagues in strikeouts and winning Milwaukee’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year award, Woodruff has skyrocketed all the way up to #8. Once thought of as a reliever or potential back-end starter, Pipeline’s scouts now see the possibility for the 24 year old righty to develop into a #3 or #4 starter in the MLB.

The biggest fall belongs to Tyrone Taylor. Taylor was once considered a top 2 talent in Milwaukee’s system, but his career has seemingly stalled out at the AA level over the last two seasons. He’s managed only a .633 OPS in 267 games at that level, and the player once thought of as a future regular in center field (and began 2016 as the Brewers’ #12 prospect) has now fallen completely out of the top 30.

Overall, Milwaukee’s top 30 was built mostly through the draft (16 players) with another large chunk coming via trade (13 players). In fact, six of Milwaukee’s top 10 prospects began their careers with another organization. Only one player ranked in the top 30, Gilbert Lara, was an international free agent signing by the Brewers, and he’s seen his stock fall a good deal since he joined the Brewers in 2014 as a 16 year old.

Here are Milwaukee’s top 30 prospects with their scouting grades, according to MLB Pipeline:

1- OF Lewis Brinson

Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

2- OF Corey Ray

Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

3- LHP Josh Hader

Fastball: 65 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55

4- RHP Luis Ortiz

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

5- SS/2B Isan Diaz

Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

6- OF Trent Clark

Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 45 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

7- 3B Lucas Erceg

Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

8- RHP Brandon Woodruff

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

9- SS/2B Mauricio Dubon

Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

10- OF Brett Phillips

Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 70 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

11- RHP Marcos Diplan

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

12- RHP Phil Bickford

Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

13- RHP Jorge Lopez

Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 50

14- C Jacob Nottingham

Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50

15- RHP Cody Ponce

Fastball: 60 | Cutter: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

16- OF Ryan Cordell

Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

17- SS Gilbert Lara

Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

18- RHP Devin Williams

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

19- LHP Kodi Medeiros

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45

20- RHP Freddy Peralta

Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

21- RHP Corbin Burnes

Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

22- RHP Josh Pennington

Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

23- OF Monte Harrison

Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 70 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

24- C Mario Feliciano

Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

25- OF Demi Orimoloye

Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

26- 1B/3B Jake Gatewood

Hit: 40 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

27- LHP Nathan Kirby

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

28- OF Michael Reed

Hit: 45 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

29- RHP Trey Supak

Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

30- 3B Chad McClanahan

Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45

For some fun reminiscing, here’s a graphic of how the Brewers’ top 10 lists from MLB Pipeline have evolved since the start of this decade:

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference