Since the summer of 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers farm system has gone from mediocre at best to one of the top in baseball, thanks mostly to a flurry of trades that netted a handful of prospects who appear on this list.
The organization’s rebuild began in earnest when the club made three deals in July of 2015, the biggest of which shipped Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros in exchange for Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, Brett Phillips and Adrian Houser. The stockpiling of young talent has continued under GM David Stearns, who was hired prior to the season and made a few trades of his own that brought back Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, Isan Diaz, Phil Bickford, Mauricio Dubon and others.
In the three drafts prior to the most recent one, the Brewers had not selected a college bat inside the top four rounds, a streak that was snapped this year when they selected Corey Ray and Lucas Erceg with their top two picks. In total, the club signed 37 of its 41 total draft picks from this summer.
As will become clear in the list, there’s a depth of athleticism in this system, particularly in the outfield. That allows the Brewers to play the waiting game for some of those prospects who are slower to develop, but also trade from a position of strength and fill holes when the time to contend draws closer.
Here’s a brief intro to the series that explains how these lists are made and includes some thoughts about my personal approach to ranking prospects.