The Brewers made the postseason on the final day of the 2020 regular season, securing the No. 8 spot in the National League despite a losing record and a fourth-place finish in their division. And while they failed to make it past the opening round for a second straight year, falling to the Dodgers via a two-game sweep in the Wild Card Series, it still marked the organization’s third consecutive playoff appearance after a six-year drought.
But those playoff berths, not to mention everything that went into the team opening that competitive window, also hurt Milwaukee’s farm system, which has been steadily declining since the midseason mark in 2016, when MLB Pipeline ranked the Brewers’ system No. 1.
The addition of 2020 first-round pick Garrett Mitchell did give the organization its first Top 100 prospect of the year, while the overall depth of the Brewers’ Draft has helped them climb out of the cellar in the farm system rankings. And with some of the other young, rising talent in the system beyond Mitchell, it may not be long until the Brewers have several other prospects in the Top 100 mix.
After finishing with a 29-31 record, the Brewers will make the No. 15 pick in the 2021 Draft -- their highest pick since Keston Hiura (No. 9 overall) in ’17.
FARM SYSTEM RANKINGS
2020 Midseason: 29 | Preseason: 30
2019 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2018 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2017 Midseason: 8 | Preseason: 5
2016 Midseason: 1 | Preseason: 9
2015 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
Only the top 10 systems were ranked from 2015 to 2019 preseason; the top 15 systems were ranked 2019 midseason.
TOP 5 PROSPECTS
1. Garrett Mitchell, OF (No. 56 on Top 100)
2. Brice Turang, SS/2B
3. Ethan Small, LHP
4. Mario Feliciano, C
5. Tristen Lutz, OF
Non-Drafted Free Agent: Drew Smith, 2B; Noah Campbell, 2B
Trade: Brandon Ramey, RHP; Juan Geraldo, RHP; Israel Puello, RHP
The Brewers used all their picks in this year’s shortened Draft on college position players, nabbing five prospects who ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 200. Four of those five now rank among the team’s Top 30 prospects, with Mitchell leading the group of up-the-middle players. Milwaukee’s return from the Phillies for David Phelps (Ramey, Geraldo and Puello) at the Deadline is reminiscent of the 2015 Adam Lind trade with Seattle, which netted the organization three inexperienced teenage hurlers, including Freddy Peralta.
2021 IMPACT PROSPECT
Tyrone Taylor, OF: The former second-round pick (2012) has fared well in a bench role for Milwaukee, producing a .271/.340/.521 line while appearing in 37 games since the start of 2019. He’s an excellent athlete who can play all three outfield positions and offers some sneaky pop from the right side of the plate.
2022 TOP PROSPECT
Garrett Mitchell, OF: The Brewers got a steal with the No. 20 overall pick in this year’s Draft in Mitchell, who had perhaps the best all-around tools in the 2020 class and ranked as its sixth-best prospect. He’s a top-of-the-scale runner and future plus hitter who projects to stay in center field for a long time, and the Brewers expect the 22-year-old will tap into more of his raw power in the pro ranks.
Hit: Brice Turang
Power: Mario Feliciano
Run: Garrett Mitchell
Arm: Lucas Erceg
Field: Antonio Pinero
Best athlete: Garrett Mitchell
Fastball: Antoine Kelly
Curveball: Zack Brown
Slider: Aaron Ashby
Changeup: Clayton Andrews
Control: Dylan File
How the Top 30 Was Built
Draft picks, including six players taken by the club in the top 75 picks, comprise the top seven spots on the Brewers’ entirely homegrown Top 30 Prospects list, while their crop of eight players taken in the fifth round or beyond highlights the organization’s ability to find talent in later rounds. That all but one of the international signees on the Top 30 was signed out of Venezuela reflects the Brewers’ comprehensive scouting efforts in the country. Four former seven-figure signees lead the group in Eduardo Garcia (No. 8), Hedbert Perez (No. 9), Luis Medina (No. 12) and Carlos Rodriguez (No. 13), all of whom already rank in the top half of the Brewers’ Top 30.
Top 30 by Position
The Brewers have as much catching depth as just about any organization, with six backstops ranking among their Top 30 prospects. Mario Feliciano (No. 4) and Payton Henry (No. 15) are the headliners in a group that also features several conversion projects in Zavier Warren (No. 19) and Thomas Dillard (No. 23). The organization also has collected some toolsy outfield prospects via both the Draft and international market, six of whom rank within the top 13 spots on the Top 30, and they have a trio of promising southpaws in Ethan Small (No. 3), Aaron Ashby (No. 6) and Antoine Kelly (No. 7). The latter two left-handers were among the biggest standouts for the organization over the summer.