Although mired by injuries and some regression in performance, the 2022 season represents the middle of a playoff contention window built on league dominating pitching. This window arguably started in 2020, although I don't know that anyone can actually count that "season" for anything, and will culminate in 2023 or perhaps 2024 depending upon trades.
What is impressive is that the Brewers were either good or lucky in attaining the leaders of this starting rotation:
Burnes was a 4th round pick.
Woodruff was an 11th round pick.
Peralta was acquired via a trade for three young pitchers with the Mariners.
The Brewers should be lauded for finding this talent and developing it. And also for filling in gaps and making good trades to augment this group of superstars. This has lead to an unprecedented string of play off appearances.
But if the Brewers miss the playoffs this year and/or fail to take it to the next level and get to the World Series during the pitching window, many will lament the inability for the Brewers to augment this strong pitching core with high quality position players. And although we may not all agree on what the Brewers player budget should be, just like with this pitching, the Brewers best opportunity to have elite position players comes through drafting and development.
And this is where Hiura represents the Brewers failure. From 2012 through 2017, the best outcome of any Brewers top draft pick is Keston Hiura - a marginal MLB player with some major flaws in his game. (Mitch Haniger, traded to Seattle has a longer history of being a underwhelming player for that team.)
Brewers top picks:
But it wasn't even just the Brewers top picks that failed to excel. From 2012 through 2017 the only pick by the Brewers in the first three rounds of the draft that has made an all star team is Devon Williams the second round pick in the 2013 draft class. The only other top three picks that have had any impact at the MLB level are Tyrone Taylor, and Trent "Maurice" Grisham. There is perhaps some hope still for Feliciano.
This is an extremely bad string for any organization's drafts. Thus the farm team was seen as one of the worse in baseball for awhile. And this is why the Brewers haven't done more to capitalize on this pitching window. Alongside these pitchers should have been a crop of other top prospects. There wasn't. The Brewers have had to fill in how ever they could but that stretched resources paying for marginal to average free agents and arbitration eligible position players.
If you are wondering why the Brewers haven't been more successful during this pitching window, look back at the drafts during the mid twenty-teens. Keston Hiura is actually the success story of this period of the draft and development system. And if Hiura is the success story, the rest of it is an unmitigated failure.