MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers could bear the high cost of trading for outfielder Christian Yelich in part because of the depth of their farm system, a concept reinforced Saturday when MLB Pipeline released its revised Top 100 Prospects list.The Brewers were poised to place five players among the top 100
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers could bear the high cost of trading for outfielder Christian Yelich in part because of the depth of their farm system, a concept reinforced Saturday when MLB Pipeline released its revised Top 100 Prospects list.
The Brewers were poised to place five players among the top 100 before two of them -- Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison -- were shipped to Miami in the four-player package that landed Yelich. Even with those losses, the Brewers have three players on the list: Second baseman Keston Hiura at No. 56, followed by right-handers Corbin Burnes (No. 69) and Brandon Woodruff (No. 96).
• MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list
:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::
Brinson checked in at No. 27, down from No. 13 in the previous ranking. Harrison entered the top 100 at No. 71. The two are now Miami's top-rated prospects.
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Hiura was Milwaukee's first-round Draft pick (ninth overall) in 2017 and excelled at the plate while recovering from an existing elbow injury. In 187 plate appearances for Rookie-level Arizona and Class A Wisconsin, he slashed .371/.422/.611, with 25 of his 62 hits going for extra bases.
Hiura's presence, along with fellow middle-infield prospect Mauricio Dubon (acquired from the Red Sox in the December 2016 Travis Shaw trade), was a factor in the Brewers parting with another middle infielder, Isan Diaz, in the deal for Yelich. Hiura, a product of UC Irvine, could move fast in Milwaukee's Minor League system, and Dubon got a taste of Triple-A last year in his age-22 season.
Burnes shot up prospect lists last year with a 1.67 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 26 starts between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi. His ERA was third-best in Minor League Baseball, and Burnes was named Brewers Minor League pitcher of the year.
Woodruff, meanwhile, got a taste of the Majors -- albeit a delayed one. He injured his hamstring warming up for a scheduled start in St. Louis in June, and he had to wait until August to make his Major League debut. Woodruff posted a 4.81 ERA in eight Brewers starts after a 4.30 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings in tough pitching conditions at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Brewers are one of 21 teams with at least three prospects in the new Top 100. The Braves lead baseball with eight players on the list.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.