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Has pitching become our farm strength?

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Offline  Has pitching become our farm strength?
#1

Posted: August 27, 2017, 7:08 AM Post
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Looking at our pitching prospects in our top 30 overall, it's interesting to see that many of them are now in the upper levels (Woodruff, Burnes, Peralta, Ponce, Ortiz, etc). Likely you can add Bickford to that list next year, and this isn't even counting guys like Bubba Derby who you may not really know what you have there at all, or high upside arms outside the Top 30 like Taylor Williams. Certainly this isn't to say the lower levels are barren of pitching depth -- there's still a lot to like with Medeiros, Supak, Pennington, Diplan, and others.

Has pitching become our organizational strength in the farm? Early MLB returns on Hader and Woodruff have certainly been good, just in different ways. Of course, part of the reason it may have become our strength is the inverse; the bats, by and large the high ceiling ones in Carolina, have been largely disappointing, but also much of it is because the pitching in the minors has been as good as hoped. One very encouraging aspect to acknowledge is that the arms that have made the tough jump from A+ to AA, like Burnes and Peralta, have so far done so with great success.

If there's a criticism of our farm arms, it isn't the depth, but it may be the lack of a TOR upside starter -- or if there is one, it doesn't appear to be known yet. The only current one who really fits that bill as far as upside is Hader, but he's got as good of a chance to wind up in the pen as he does even being in the rotation at all.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#2

Posted: August 28, 2017, 6:56 AM Post
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It's certainly an odd feeling being in this situation, with multiple high-upside arms at nearly every minor league level. It has been a LONG time since this organization was in this position. It will make for an interesting offseason, as the high amount of high-level pitching prospects should make this team players for big-name trade candidates this offseason. I get the idea that there may not be ace potential, but I'd argue that what Woodruff has shown in his brief MLB time, and the breakout Burnes is having puts both of them on the cusp. Derby's breakout as a 23-year-old is pretty dang great, too. He's positioned himself as a potential #3-4 as early as next year. He's been very effective in a tough environment at CS. What more does he really have to prove?


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#3

Posted: August 28, 2017, 7:22 AM Post
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Hopefully their be a few top quality starters to build up during this rebuild


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#4

Posted: August 29, 2017, 11:15 AM Post
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Jordan Yamamoto is another guy, he doesn't get much love here but probably pitched better than anyone in the lower minors this year. Carlos Herrera is also very interesting. Not to mention bullpen arms like Ramirez and Griep.

I was just thinking of this myself lately, how the strength has turned from bats to arms right under our noses. It's very encouraging we're not pinning all hopes on one or two guys, and that there is talent at all levels.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#5

Posted: August 29, 2017, 12:58 PM Post
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I know the word about Derby was that he always seemed like he would be destined for the pen, but I wonder if the thinking on that has changed given his stellar performance this year. The organization as a whole seems like they've figured out how to play at Colorado Springs a lot more this season than last. They've had some real success stories with pitchers there this year, even with curveball pitchers like Jungmann, so I kinda wonder if they roll the dice and send Burnes/Peralta/Ortiz there next year and see how they do.

I don't think enough can be said about the success of our pitching staffs in the minors this year. Just going through each team and look at how long a list I can make of pitchers that are showing real promise/potential:

Rookie:
Joaquin De La Cruz
Phil Bickford (just putting him here because that's where he's currently pitching)
Caden Lemons

A:
Thomas Jankins
Carlos Herrera
Adrian Houser (same reasoning as Bickford above)
Drake Owenby
Josh Pennington
Cameron Roegner
Braden Webb

A+:
Marcos Diplan
Kodi Medeiros
Jordan Yamamoto
Trey Supak
Wuilder Rodriguez
Nate Griep
Zack Brown

AA:
Corbin Burnes
Freddy Peralta
Luis Ortiz
Cody Ponce
Aaron Wilkerson
Jorge Lopez
Jon Perrin
Nick Ramirez

AAA:
Taylor Jungmann
Bubba Derby
Angel Ventura
Tristan Archer
Wei-Chung Wang

That's a lot of minor league depth all throughout the system, and I'm sure I even missed a few names in there too.

It'll be interesting to see how they choose rotation candidates over the next couple years and when they feel like they could trade depth and for what. It certainly seems like we could trade away some pitching prospects for a TOR guy though and still have a lot of depth in the system.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#6

Posted: August 29, 2017, 1:01 PM Post
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My list hasn't even included that our major league team has seen a huge improvement in pitching potential too. Nelson/Anderson have both developed into strong #2 guys (Nelson could even be have ace potential, honestly), and Hader/Woodruff are both delivering too.

And even with Hader/Woodruff up, our upper minors pitching depth is still incredible, with lots of guys to pull from given the chance.

I'm glad Espino/Blazek got their shots this year too, and gave the other guys more time to develop in the minors. Even though neither really worked out, this team is what it is right now because we took chances on a lot of guys who were down and out and overlooked.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#7

Posted: August 29, 2017, 1:05 PM Post
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Nice list, thanks for taking the time. Also at least a couple DSL kids to watch. Add Taylor Williams.

In fact, to get OT a bit, I wonder if Williams and Ramirez get a legit shot to make the big boy club out of ST next season. At their age, getting close to now or never, and I don't see any point in making them prove themselves in CS. Give them a chance at the big league level, I rather see that than the journeymen, AAAA types we've seen the last couple years.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#8

Posted: August 29, 2017, 1:47 PM Post
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That's not even taking into account guys like Yhonathan Barrios and Sean Nolin at AAA. Definitely a pretty cool and unfamiliar position to be in.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#9

Posted: August 29, 2017, 1:51 PM Post
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The great part about the number of interesting prospects is that it makes it more likely that one or more will experience the same prospect leap that Woodruff did two years ago and Burnes and Peralta did this year. Personally I'd guess Supak and Brown, but there are ones at every full-season level that wouldn't really surprise me. And that is a good situation for the Brewers to be in.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#10

Posted: August 29, 2017, 3:37 PM Post
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FVBrewerFan said:
Nice list, thanks for taking the time. Also at least a couple DSL kids to watch. Add Taylor Williams.


Not sure how I forgot Taylor Williams, but obviously add him to the list.

I don't really know how excited to get about DSL guys until they come stateside so instead of embarrassing myself I just didn't try.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#11

Posted: September 05, 2017, 10:00 PM Post
Posts: 9981
Look at the depth right now:

MLB: Hader, Woodruff, Williams
AAA: Not much here, but maybe something in Angel Ventura and Bubba Derby?
AA: Loaded. Burnes, Ortiz, Ponce, Peralta, Lopez, Wilkerson. I mean this is probably one of the most pitching talented teams in the minors.
A+: Medeiros, Diplan, Supak, Yamamoto. Pretty loaded here, too. Yamamoto has been pretty under the radar, but not for too much longer. Medeiros and Diplan have somewhat disappointed and both might benefit from moves to the pen.
A: Pennington, Herrera

There's also numerous rehabbing guys -- the Kirby, Devin Williams, Bickford types that could still pan out. Not to even mention guys like Lemons that we really don't know what we have yet.

I am really excited about the organizational state of our pitching coming up the next few years.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#12

Posted: September 06, 2017, 1:17 AM Post
Posts: 259
adambr2 said:
Look at the depth right now:

MLB: Hader, Woodruff, Williams
AAA: Not much here, but maybe something in Angel Ventura and Bubba Derby?
AA: Loaded. Burnes, Ortiz, Ponce, Peralta, Lopez, Wilkerson. I mean this is probably one of the most pitching talented teams in the minors.
A+: Medeiros, Diplan, Supak, Yamamoto. Pretty loaded here, too. Yamamoto has been pretty under the radar, but not for too much longer. Medeiros and Diplan have somewhat disappointed and both might benefit from moves to the pen.
A: Pennington, Herrera

There's also numerous rehabbing guys -- the Kirby, Devin Williams, Bickford types that could still pan out. Not to even mention guys like Lemons that we really don't know what we have yet.

I am really excited about the organizational state of our pitching coming up the next few years.



I think this has been the best part of the 2017 season for the Brewers organization. Contending this year has been great, but having so many talented pitchers perform at what the levels they have is what could give this team staying power. And while it's a ways away, it also MAY afford us the ability in the future to actually spent like a big market team on a true ace(given that we could have so many guys who are cheap and controllable for the next 6-7 years). At the very least it'll give us great payroll flexibility.

I said in another thread, this is the most pitching depth that I've ever seen since I've been following the Brewers prospects.

I'm still comfortable with our position prospects, but our pitching prospects definitely have made me that much more excited for the future.


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Offline  Re: Has pitching become our farm strength?
#13

Posted: September 09, 2017, 5:35 AM Post
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In addition to the names mentioned, Anderson, Nelson, and Davies are all under the Brewers' control for at least another 3 years. Woodruff seems like a keeper, and Suter has promise. There's a lot of potential candidates to fill spots in the rotation that may not even need to be filled through 2020.


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