In a deep farm system, it can be hard for any one prospect to stand out above the others, especially if that prospect doesn't have the You-Should-Pay-Attention-To-This-One pedigree from the various future talent gurus on the web.
Corbin Burnes has done it anyway.
A 4th round pick last year, Burnes flew under the radar coming into this season. All he's done is put up a 1.06 ERA in 17 starts across two levels, striking out 99 in 102.1 innings and carrying a K/BB ratio of 4.5. He's unquestionably the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year if the vote was held today.
Now it's starting to turn into attention from some of the national prospect writers.
Keith Law of ESPN rolled out his midseason Top 50 list this morning. Unlike the Baseball Prospectus list that came out last week, Law's list does take 2017 draftees and July 2 international signings, making it a little more difficult to crack.
And yet, Burnes did, making his Top Prospect List debut at #38 in Law's list. Lewis Brinson was the only other Brewer in the Top 50, coming in at #29.
Law puts a plus-grade on Burnes' changeup and mentions the fact he throws two good breaking pitches. With reports of his fastball now topping out at 97, this likely won't be the last mid- or end-of-season prospect list we'll see him on. Corbin Burnes is now being viewed as a legitimate prospect.
As far as Brinson goes, Law echoes the sentiments of a few other prospect writers lately in forseeing an adjustment period once he's in the majors for good, but is still dreaming big on his future ceiling once (or if) those adjustments are made.
Compared to Law's Top 50 update in April, Brinson is up two spots from where he was, while Corey Ray (#27) and Isan Diaz (#33) fell out of the Top 50.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference