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2019 Farm System Rankings & Prospect Valuations

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#21

Posted: November 29, 2018, 9:34 AM Post
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Location: New Berlin, WI
long ball said:
"the farm alone doesn’t project a clear picture of the youthful health of this franchise"

This is what people should be focusing on. They'll have 5-6 impact type players who are minimum salary guys on the mlb roster + another 3-4 on the shuttle crew.

The organization is in good shape overall.


This seems the equivalent of saying "christian yelich is a good baseball player". I don't remember the overall state of the franchise being better than it is right now. Even in the late 00s with Braun/Fielder/Weeks/etc, we didn't have pitching or much for minor league talent in the pipeline. And once we traded for Marcum/Greinke...we had a clearly defined 2 year window, whereas I don't see a window with this current team. We are contenders for the forseeable future with plenty of identifiable talent in the minors. We probably have a 1-2 year lull with minimal contributions/callups from the minors coming. Hiura, Brown, Ray, Dubon that might be it for the next 2 years aside from role players and shuttle service bullpen arms. By that point, some of these 40-45 FV players in the low minors will likely have vaulted themselves into impact prospects...as we have a lot of talented players in the low minors getting 40-45 FV rankings currently.


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#22

Posted: November 29, 2018, 9:46 AM Post
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Location: New Berlin, WI
I'm a bit blown away by the high ranking of Garcia. He must have really impressed in fall instructs as noted, because they rank him ahead of some quality upper minors players.


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#23

Posted: November 29, 2018, 10:23 AM Post
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Location: Madison, WI
I don't see the great depth that people keep talking about. Not at all. With the talent the team had 12-13 months ago, a player like Mario Feliciano, coming off what he did in the 2018 season, probably wouldn't be ranked in the top 20. The fact that he's listed at #7 by a credible source like Fangraphs, pretty much screams to me that the Brewers have about 6 players sitting on top and a whole, whole lot of mediocrity backed up behind that. Really disappointed to see Erceg that low. Pretty much should have expected it by now considering how many outs he makes, but still disappointing because his value may have dropped to the point where he just doesn't have much of any trade value remaining, and he would be a logical piece to move if the Brewers need to make a deal. Wow, even below Trent Grisham...surprising.


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#24

Posted: November 29, 2018, 10:50 AM Post
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JosephC said:
I don't see the great depth that people keep talking about. Not at all. With the talent the team had 12-13 months ago, a player like Mario Feliciano, coming off what he did in the 2018 season, probably wouldn't be ranked in the top 20. The fact that he's listed at #7 by a credible source like Fangraphs, pretty much screams to me that the Brewers have about 6 players sitting on top and a whole, whole lot of mediocrity backed up behind that. Really disappointed to see Erceg that low. Pretty much should have expected it by now considering how many outs he makes, but still disappointing because his value may have dropped to the point where he just doesn't have much of any trade value remaining, and he would be a logical piece to move if the Brewers need to make a deal. Wow, even below Trent Grisham...surprising.


When discussing a farm system, Depth is really over rated. No one cares if we develop 10 Nick Franklins. Farm systems need to develop starters and more to the point, All Stars, to be relevant.


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#25

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:05 AM Post
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I think the idea behind having a deep farm system is that not all starters & All Stars were top prospects. A lot of viable MLB players emerge from that depth.

Cain, Aguilar & Shaw were three of our best players this season & none ever made a top 100 list, meanwhile, our worst player Arcia did.

Arguing who has more depth or which team's is over/underrated is tricky. Intuitively we'll always think our depth is better because it's the only depth we're familiar with since there is no way any message board poster could have a comprehensive knowledge of all 30 MLB farms plus each organization's proclivity at developing said talent.


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#26

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:10 AM Post
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sveumrules said:
I think the idea behind having a deep farm system is that not all starters & All Stars were top prospects. A lot of viable MLB players emerge from that depth.

Cain, Aguilar & Shaw were three of our best players this season & none ever made a top 100 list, meanwhile, our worst player Arcia did.

Arguing who has more depth or which team's is over/underrated is tricky. Intuitively we'll always think our depth is better because it's the only depth we're familiar with since there is no way any message board poster could have a comprehensive knowledge of all 30 MLB farms plus each organization's proclivity at developing said talent.

Yah, when I refer to the farm system as having really good depth, I'm talking about relative to Brewers' history. I don't know a ton about most other farm systems so I have no way of knowing how the Brewers compare depth-wise to other teams. The depth the Brewers have presently is much better than the depth the Brewers have had in the past. I think this is due to a change in drafting philosophy and more investment in international signings.


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#27

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:16 AM Post
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Boomer5 said:
When discussing a farm system, Depth is really over rated. No one cares if we develop 10 Nick Franklins. Farm systems need to develop starters and more to the point, All Stars, to be relevant.

As sveumrules pointed out already, the goal in accumulating depth is not to produce ten Nick Franklins. The Brewers have quite a few core contributors who at one point or another would have been considered "depth" as prospects. The goal with depth is to develop players within that group to become regular MLB contributors. It stands to reason, the more/better depth you have, the better odds you have to produce a Travis Shaw or Taylor Williams.


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#28

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:23 AM Post
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It's definitely been fun watching the nature of the farm itself change over the years.

When I first started paying attention was when we were stocked with Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Hart, Braun, Gallardo.

Once they were all up there was a lull on top end guys but we still managed to turn out guys like Lucroy, Cain & Brantley before the bottom really fell out.

Recently it seems like we're having more success on the pitching side with guys like Burnes, Peralta, Woodruff & now Brown taking big jumps forward, but our ability to develop hitters is starting to look questionable.


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#29

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:46 AM Post
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KeithStone53151 said:
I'm a bit blown away by the high ranking of Garcia. He must have really impressed in fall instructs as noted, because they rank him ahead of some quality upper minors players.


For me, it's hard to tell unless you have the prospect play actual games.

Victor Vargas, for instance, is someone I will be keeping an eye on, largely because of very good OBP skills and speed at second base. He's looking like a right-handed Jeff Pickler, and since he is 18, he can still develop some power, but that hit-for-average tool and the OBP skills look very good.


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#30

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:50 AM Post
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Garcia has played many actual games, it just so happens the details of those games are not generally available.


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#31

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:59 AM Post
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sveumrules said:
It's definitely been fun watching the nature of the farm itself change over the years.

When I first started paying attention was when we were stocked with Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Hart, Braun, Gallardo.

Once they were all up there was a lull on top end guys but we still managed to turn out guys like Lucroy, Cain & Brantley before the bottom really fell out.

Recently it seems like we're having more success on the pitching side with guys like Burnes, Peralta, Woodruff & now Brown taking big jumps forward, but our ability to develop hitters is starting to look questionable.


Stokes and Hiura both look to be very excellent contributors with the bat.

Down in the lower minors, I named a number of other interesting players. Eddie Silva just screams Jeff Cirillo to me with the doubles, some power, and a .320 average. Edwin Sano looks like a Hernan Perez who switch hits and draws more walks.

David Fry and Jesus Chirinos look like the catching tandem for the 2025 Brewers... if Cooper Hummel hasn't taken over.


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#32

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:59 AM Post
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Meh, I'll put as much stock into Fangraphs' minor league system evaluation as their MLB team record projections for the Brewers...which is just about none.

The Brewers are in a spot as an organization where they can afford to be patient with all their young prospects in low & development levels. The fact this assessment surprised a few posters who are very informed about the organization by ranking relatively unknown, unproven, or oft-injured prospects ahead of the more established ones isn't surprising. I personally think there is tons of high upside talent sitting below high A in this organization right now, which is very difficult to slap accurate 'future value' ratings on given how little data is actually available to assess on those type of players. Their careers still range across the full spectrum without even factoring in injuries, from totally flaming out to far and away exceed their current projections - having a ton of those kind of players is a great thing for a farm system. With so many of the Brewers' current 'top 32' being well below 20 and some even well below 18, I just don't see the point in trying to come up with a projection on them and worrying about what that value is right this minute.

Take their ranking of Caden Lemons at #32 for example - He's a 2nd round pick out of High School in 2017 that basically has been on a conditioning and mechanics/delivery program before they even let him start logging significant innings to develop as a pitcher. He could either flame out and never see AA, fully realize his potential and be an Ace, or fall just about anywhere in between. Based on 34.1 IP in two years largely focused on developmental leagues, what's the point in trying to put a future value number on him right now?


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#33

Posted: November 29, 2018, 12:45 PM Post
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Fear The Chorizo said:
Meh, I'll put as much stock into Fangraphs' minor league system evaluation as their MLB team record projections for the Brewers...which is just about none.

The Brewers are in a spot as an organization where they can afford to be patient with all their young prospects in low & development levels. The fact this assessment surprised a few posters who are very informed about the organization by ranking relatively unknown, unproven, or oft-injured prospects ahead of the more established ones isn't surprising. I personally think there is tons of high upside talent sitting below high A in this organization right now, which is very difficult to slap accurate 'future value' ratings on given how little data is actually available to assess on those type of players. Their careers still range across the full spectrum without even factoring in injuries, from totally flaming out to far and away exceed their current projections - having a ton of those kind of players is a great thing for a farm system. With so many of the Brewers' current 'top 32' being well below 20 and some even well below 18, I just don't see the point in trying to come up with a projection on them and worrying about what that value is right this minute.

Take their ranking of Caden Lemons at #32 for example - He's a 2nd round pick out of High School in 2017 that basically has been on a conditioning and mechanics/delivery program before they even let him start logging significant innings to develop as a pitcher. He could either flame out and never see AA, fully realize his potential and be an Ace, or fall just about anywhere in between. Based on 34.1 IP in two years largely focused on developmental leagues, what's the point in trying to put a future value number on him right now?


That is very true. I was higher than a kite on Ronnie Gideon after 2016... and he flamed out and was released two years later.

Gabriel Garcia still has the OBP skills and pop I liked two years ago, but can't get his average above the Uecker line.

Weston Wilson had a rough 2017, but he's rebounded to be a very solid utility player prospect.

But then there are the surprises. Aside from me, how many folks thought Brent Suter would have become a key part of the rotation until he had to have Tommy John surgery?


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#34

Posted: November 29, 2018, 2:25 PM Post
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sveumrules said:
but our ability to develop hitters is starting to look questionable.

One of the biggest minor league storylines in 2019 for me will be looking for progress, and more than just modest progress, from the organization's top hitting prospects. It's been a while since I've been wowed by increased output at the plate. Hiura's been good but most of the other guys are stuck in low batting average ruts which don't kill their value necessarily, but it does make it difficult to get excited about them.

Kenny Graham, who has been the Brewers' minor league hitting coordinator for a few years now, needs to find a way to get more consistent contact out of his players, or he may not be long for his job.


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#35

Posted: November 29, 2018, 2:38 PM Post
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Fear The Chorizo said:
Meh, I'll put as much stock into Fangraphs' minor league system evaluation as their MLB team record projections for the Brewers...which is just about none.

The Brewers are in a spot as an organization where they can afford to be patient with all their young prospects in low & development levels. The fact this assessment surprised a few posters who are very informed about the organization by ranking relatively unknown, unproven, or oft-injured prospects ahead of the more established ones isn't surprising. I personally think there is tons of high upside talent sitting below high A in this organization right now, which is very difficult to slap accurate 'future value' ratings on given how little data is actually available to assess on those type of players. Their careers still range across the full spectrum without even factoring in injuries, from totally flaming out to far and away exceed their current projections - having a ton of those kind of players is a great thing for a farm system. With so many of the Brewers' current 'top 32' being well below 20 and some even well below 18, I just don't see the point in trying to come up with a projection on them and worrying about what that value is right this minute.

Take their ranking of Caden Lemons at #32 for example - He's a 2nd round pick out of High School in 2017 that basically has been on a conditioning and mechanics/delivery program before they even let him start logging significant innings to develop as a pitcher. He could either flame out and never see AA, fully realize his potential and be an Ace, or fall just about anywhere in between. Based on 34.1 IP in two years largely focused on developmental leagues, what's the point in trying to put a future value number on him right now?


19 of 40 FanGraphs writers picked us to make the playoffs last season (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangrap ... edictions/) so it seems they were pretty accurate there. Both of their prospect analysts picked us to make the playoffs with Longenhagen having us as the division winner.

The point in trying to put a future value on any prospect right now, even ones far away from the majors with a variety of possible outcomes, is because Major League front offices do the same thing & this acts as an approximation thereof.


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#36

Posted: November 29, 2018, 3:56 PM Post
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I think generally these lists are taken a bit too much as gospel and not looked at for what they are. I mean two guys trying to rank the farm systems of every single team is baseball is pretty ridiculous, but for what it is I believe these two are right at the top of the list.

For me personally these things are really good at getting little tidbits here and there on specific players. Hiura is really good, great to hear! The beginning of Eduardo Garcia, Payton Henry putting in the work on defense and his body, I am a huge Webb guy think he might be the next pitcher of the year in the organization or take a huge jump and pitch out of the big league bullpen by the end of next year so reading anything about him is great, the JUCO guys showing out a little bit... I'm a huge proponent of JUCO for baseball players and think at the top level the development programs are better than Division I and a lot of big league teams.

Two things that interest me Lucas Erceg/Clayton Andrews as bullpen arms that can hit for himself a time or two could make for interesting roster management and take the bullpenning thing to another level. (This is very unlikely to happen but could be something).

Second thing also with Andrews and all short pitchers in general. I've been able to see some data and talk with the guys that understand it better and they are seeing the opportunity for a pitcher like Andrews to come in throwing from his 5'6 frame and create tunnels that are in direct opposition to the way hitters are swinging. This is also a reason why I want the Brewers to trade for Stroman and get him into their system of pitch selection.


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#37

Posted: November 29, 2018, 11:58 PM Post
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The article isn't exactly wrong on the Brewers' struggles to develop hitters in recent years as compared with pitchers. I wonder if this is the cause of them focusing so much of their prospect-acquisition capital on hitters, if the team is simply more confident in its ability to develop major league pitching from later rounds even if it occasionally takes an island of misfit toys approach to get there. They've had good luck with pitchers with more talent than results in college like Woodruff, Brown, even Hanhold was turning a corner before getting traded (one reason I'm not completely discounting Schanuel despite his disaster of a debut season) and have seen other guys really improve their stock in recent years.

Andrews will be fascinating to watch, but I don't know how much we can glean from the results until he reaches AA or AAA. He was an elite college pitcher. It would have been mildly surprising if he wasn't good in A ball despite the round he was drafted in.


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#38

Posted: November 30, 2018, 9:03 AM Post
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The point in trying to put a future value on any prospect right now, even ones far away from the majors with a variety of possible outcomes, is because Major League front offices do the same thing & this acts as an approximation thereof.

Yes, but having two guys do it for all MLB teams leads to giving a pile of young prospects auto-30-35 FV evaluations simply because they don't have the time or organization-specific knowledge on individual players to differentiate them at all. Then you slap the evaluation on a Fangraphs page and it's viewed too much as gospel as others have posted.

I maintain that even with the presumed graduation of Hiura and potential callups for guys like Ray/Dubon in 2019, the Brewers system will be more highly rated at this time next year simply because other in-house prospects at low & development levels will dramatically improve their stock simply by playing more. That's without any new adds from next June's draft, international signings, or offseason trade acquisitions. Their ranking may have taken a hit based on how these sites evaluate systems based off all the trades using more established prospects that brought them the NL MVP and within 1 game of reaching the world series, but the talent level within the system hasn't drastically declined - it's just centered lower in the system.


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#39

Posted: November 30, 2018, 12:04 PM Post
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Fear The Chorizo said:
Yes, but having two guys do it for all MLB teams leads to giving a pile of young prospects auto-30-35 FV evaluations simply because they don't have the time or organization-specific knowledge on individual players to differentiate them at all. Then you slap the evaluation on a Fangraphs page and it's viewed too much as gospel as others have posted.


If two people working full time year round is insufficient, how many people would be needed to more accurately attempt to rank the individual prospects & by proxy the farm systems of each team?

How much time did Eric & Kiley spend compiling this information & how much more time would they have needed to spend in order to obtain the necessary organization specific knowledge?

The large majority of minor league players will never play in MLB so slapping 30/35 grades on unheralded prospects with no track record of successful performance at AA or above seems entirely appropriate.


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#40

Posted: December 01, 2018, 1:41 PM Post
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I honestly think the system is at a low ebb, and a bottom ten rating would be deserved. It's not surprising; we've graduated some nice pitchers and traded away 11 minor leaguers to boost the major league roster last summer. Still, Hiura is the only guy I'd bet actual dollars on being a major league regular at this point. That's not disastrous given that we have good long term assets in place across much of the major league roster, and guys on the brink at some of the places where the major league team has holes (e.g., Dubon, Hiura, Nottingham). It does mean there are fewer bullets for upcoming trades, and it would be wise (in my opinion) to focus on free agency to add pieces this year.

I get that we can point to individuals who are talented and could take steps forward. My sense in following the Brewers and other teams for years is that there are always guys in every system who are on the rise but as yet underrated. We just know who they are in our system because we obsess over their every move. I don't honestly believe that the Brewers have more such players than most other teams, though I would of course be happy to be proven wrong. I like a number of guys from their last draft or three, and it will be interesting to see whether, or to what extent, the newfound interest in Latin America pays dividends, but for now I think the cupboard is fairly bare.


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