Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Post-2019 (21-30)

These are my 2019 Post Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this series you will see a breakdown of all 30 MLB teams’ farm systems and top 10 prospects. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 21-30. Numbers 11-20 and 1-10 will be released later in October.

30.) Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Brice Turang, SS
  2. Corey Ray, OF
  3. Tristan Lutz, OF
  4. Ethan Small, SP
  5. Aaron Ashby, SP
  6. Carlos Rodriguez, OF
  7. Trent Grisham, OF
  8. Marco Feliciano, C
  9. Joe Gray Jr., OF
  10. Drew Rasmussen, SP

MIL Overview: The only team without a top 100 prospect, the Brewers system really took a hit losing Keston Hiura (promotion) and Mauricio Dubon (trade). The struggles of Corey Ray, Brice Turang, and Joe Gray have certainly done nothing to help the stock of this system. All three of these guys are undoubtedly talented, but none of them have shown the desired results. Both Gray and Turang are only 19 so they have plenty of time to develop, but Corey Ray is already 24, so time could be running out for him. Left-handed starters Ethan Small and Aaron Ashby have been a two of the only bright spots of the group, as they have both shown dominating stuff in 2019.

29.) Washington Nationals

  1. Carter Kieboom, SS (26)
  2. Luis V. Garcia, SS (95)
  3. Jackson Rutledge, SP
  4. Mason Denaburg, SP
  5. Tim Cate, SP
  6. Yasel Antnua, SS
  7. Will Crowe, SP
  8. Sterling Sharpe, SP
  9. Andry Lara, SP
  10. Tyler Dyson, SP

WSH Overview: Although the Nationals have very pitcher heavy system, their only top 100 prospects are both middle infielders. Carter Kieboom is by far the best Nationals prospect and he has already had a taste of the majors. Though he didn’t get off to the best start in his stint with Washington, Kieboom did well at Triple-A after being sent back down. Luis Garcia is the other Washington top 100 prospect, but he doesn’t offer as much certainty as Kieboom. Garcia is only 19, whereas Kieboom is 22, but Garcia is a riskier prospect at this point in his career. Two first Jackson Rutledge and Mason Denaburg slot behind Kieboom and Garcia, but neither is even close to cracking the top 100. Both Rutledge and Denaburg figure to share similar timelines to the big leagues, so I’d expect to see both in Class-A Hagerstown in 2020. The rest of the bunch doesn’t offer too much upside, but Yasel Antuna and pitcher Seth Romero could both raise their stocks if they can stay healthy in 2020.

28.) St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Dylan Carlson, OF (45)
  2. Nolan Gorman, 3B (48)
  3. Andrew Kinzner, C
  4. Zack Thompson, SP
  5. Justin Williams, OF
  6. Junior Fernandez, RP
  7. Genesis Cabrera, SP
  8. Angel Rondon, SP
  9. Mateo Gil, SS
  10. Jhon Torres, OF

STL Overview: Although ranked above two other teams, the St. Louis Cardinals might have my least favorite farm system yet again. If not for Dylan Carlson’s breakout season, St. Louis would likely be dead last. Carlson has been a surprise to me, but it appears as if he is the real deal. He has emerged as a great power/speed threat, and has put himself in the top 50 discussion. Nolan Gorman on the other hand, has not been nearly as impressive in my eyes. Yes, he is only 19, but as a corner infielder without much athleticism, he’s going to have to put up more than 15 HRs in a season, especially with a batting average under .250. I hate having him ranked at 48, but scouts believe in him too much to put him any lower. Pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Junior Fernandez have both posted 5.00-plus ERAs in their time at the MLB level. Though neither have logged many innings, it is not an encouraging sign to say the least. Justin Williams has been one of the few bright spots, albeit with a small sample size (159 ABs). After dealing with an injury most of 2019, Williams returned to hit 8 home runs while hitting just a tad under .300. With the Cardinals right in the middle of the pack in terms of success over the past few years, they have not had any high 1st round picks, but have also not acquired many key prospects in trades. I don’t see all that much to like in this system other than a few names.

27.) Houston Astros

  1. Kyle Tucker, OF (17)
  2. Forrest Whitley, SP (42)
  3. Freudis Nova, SS (99)
  4. Abraham Toro, 3B
  5. Tyler Ivey, SP
  6. Korey Lee, C
  7. Cristian Javier, SP
  8. Jeremy Pena, SS
  9. Bryan Abreu, SP
  10. JJ Matijevic, OF/1B

HOU Overview: Houston lost a ton of depth in their farm system in acquiring Zach Greinke, moving Seth Beer, JB Bukauskas and Corbin Martin to Arizona. Beer is a back-end top 100 prospect and Martin and Bukauskas would have both been in Houston’s top 10. Although they lost 3 big names. Houston still has 3 top 100 prospects of their own. Kyle Tucker struggled in his first short MLB sting back in 2018, but his dominating showings in Triple-A have vaulted him back into the top 20 overall prospects. Forrest Whitley’s stock is falling, but he still has loads of potential if he can manage to turn things around. Freudis Nova just cracked to top 100, but he offers very high potential on offense and has one of the best arms of any shortstop prospect. Unfortunately there is not much excitement outside of their top 3, which is why they are ranked surprisingly low.

26.) Chicago Cubs

  1. Nico Hoerner, SS (54)
  2. Brailyn Marquez, SP
  3. Brennen Davis, OF
  4. Miguel Amaya, C
  5. Ryan Jensen, SP
  6. Cole Roederer, OF
  7. Cory Abbott, SP
  8. Nelson Velazquez, OF
  9. Oscar de la Cruz, SP/RP
  10. Brendon Little, SP

CHI Overview: With only one top 100 prospect, it may be a bit of a surprise to see Chicago ranked above teams such as Houston or St. Louis, but that is largely to to the very impressive debut of Nico Hoerner. Ranked at #54 in my 3rd top 100 update, Hoerner was a September call-up, and really performed well. I really liked what I saw from him and I now view him as a top 40, maybe even top 35 guy. Brailyn Marquez just missed the top 100, but he should be there next year at some point, assuming he stays his usual dominant self. Although Hoerner and Marquez are the only two “big name” guys in this system, the Cubs have plenty of talent, especially at outfield and pitching. Outfielders Brennen Davis and Cole Roederer offer substantial upside, while pitchers such as Ryan Jensen, Cory Abbott and Brendon Little have solid floors. Oscar de la Cruz has missed large portions of his past four seasons, but he’s a bit of a sleeper who I could see surprising many in 2020.

25.) Colorado Rockies

  1. Brendan Rodgers, INF (25)
  2. Colton Welker, 1B/3B (65)
  3. Ryan Vilade, SS
  4. Sam Hilliard, OF
  5. Jonathan Daza, OF
  6. Ryan Rolison, SP
  7. Grant Lavigne, 1B
  8. Terrin Vavra, SS
  9. Michael Toglia, 1B
  10. Adael Amador, SS

COL Overview: Since being drafted 3rd overall back in 2015, Brendan Rodgers has consistently been amount the top 25 prospects in almost all rankings. Consistently showing he is an elite bat, Rodgers’ weak Colorado debut was a bit of a surprise, especially considering the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Though only playing 25 games, Rodgers was held without a home run, and hit just .224 before succumbing to a shoulder injury which required season ending surgery. Colton Welker is another Rockies infielder with a bit of a disappointing 2019. With only 10 HRs on the season, Welker’s lack of power could be a concern, but I expect he will improve there. Ryan Vilade is one of the more exciting guys, who offers potential 5-tool skills with a great speed/power combination. Sam Hilliard had a breakout year, launching himself into Colorado’s top 5. He absolutely stuffed the stat sheet in 2019, with 110+ runs and RBIs, 24 SBs, 42 HRs, and he had 9 triples as well. The one thing Colorado is really lacking is high-to-mid end starting pitching. Ryan Rolison is the only pitcher who made Colorado’s top 10, yet he did struggle a bit after his promotion to A-Advanced. Look for the Rockies to target pitching in the next few MLB Drafts.

24.) Boston Red Sox

Bobby Dalbec, 3B (BOS)
  1. Bobby Dalbec, 3B (76)
  2. Triston Casas, 1B/3B (77)
  3. Jarran Duran, OF
  4. Jay Groome, SP
  5. Gilberto Jiminez, OF
  6. Thad Ward, SP
  7. Bryan Mata, SP
  8. CJ Chatham, SS
  9. Matthew Lugo, SS
  10. Noah Song, SP

BOS Overview: Quite a top-heavy system, the Red Sox farm system is carried by corner infielders, Bobby Dalbec and Triston Casas. Both players share similar skillsets, so I could see either Dalbec and/or Casas hitting 30-40 HRs a year, while maintaining an average around .250. While strikeouts remain a concern for both players, Casas has a higher ceiling, thanks to the 5 year age gap between the two. 7th round pick Jaran Duran has been a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox, as he had an excellent 2019, hitting over .300 and swiping nearly 50 bases. Duran could be a potential Jackie Bradley Jr. type player, and given that Bradley’s contract expires after 2020, Duran’s timeline fits perfectly. Pitching is a bit of a weakness for Boston, but Jay Groome is a high upside guy who has been limited by injuries. Missing most of 2018 and 2019, Groome is a potential breakout candidate for 2020. So far, it seems like Noah Song has been a good find in the 4th round of the 2019 draft, and his stock could be moving up soon. Boston surely must be disappointed by weak seasons from some of their lower level guys such as Antoni Flores and Cameron Cannon, but overall, 2019 was encouraging for Boston, giving them hope that they will have viable replacements for some of their veteran free agents.

23.) New York Mets

  1. Ronny Mauricio, SS (84)
  2. Matthew Allen, SP
  3. Mark Vientos, 3B
  4. Andres Gimenez, SS
  5. Brett Baty, 3B
  6. Shervyen Newton, INF
  7. Josh Wolf, SP
  8. David Peterson, SP
  9. Franciso Alvarez, C
  10. Thomas Szapucki, SP

NYM Overview: A general overview of the Mets top prospects is that they are very young and that they underperformed in 2019. Five of their top seven prospects are under 20, making these struggles understandable. The Mets landing Matthew Allen was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 Draft. Allen was heavily committed to attend Florida if not given a massive signing bonus. Unsurprisingly, teams were concerned about his sign-ability, so when he fell to the 3rd round, the Mets pounced and took Allen 89th overall. Off to a good start in the minors, Allen offers the best ceiling/floor combination of any Mets pitching prospect. At only 18 years old, Mauricio has the most exciting ceiling of any Mets prospect, since he has so much time to develop. Though his season at Class-A Columbia could have been better, don’t forget Mauricio was one of the youngest players at his level. Mauricio was not the only top prospect with Columbia this year. Both Shervyen Newton and Mark Vientos played all of 2019 with Columbia as well, yet neither excelled with the club. David Peterson (24) and Thomas Szapucki (23) are two older, more experienced pitchers, who round out one of the youngest systems in all of baseball.

22.) Cleveland Indians

  1. Nolan Jones, 3B (46)
  2. Tyler Freeman, SS (74)
  3. Ethan Hankins, SP
  4. Bo Naylor, C
  5. Triston McKenzie, SP
  6. Daniel Johnson, OF
  7. Lenny Torres Jr., SP
  8. Will Benson, OF
  9. Bobby Bradley, 1B
  10. Daniel Espino, SP

CLE Overview: One of the youngest farm systems, there is a lot to like here. Cleveland’s top 100 guys, Nolan Jones and Tyler Freeman are very promising infielders who both had very solid 2019 seasons. I’d expect both to be ready for the MLB by 2021. On another note, Cleveland could have two front end starters in Triston McKenzie and Ethan Hankins. McKenzie has struggled with injuries and missed all of 2019, but the former top 100 prospect still has high potential. Hankins on the other hand is just making a name for himself. The 19 year-old was one of my favorite 2018 draft prospects, but winded up falling to #35. The Indians got a huge steal there, as Hankins has surely not disappointed one bit. Fellow 2018 draftee, Bo Naylor has shown worthy of being a 1st rounder as well. At only age 19 as well, Naylor and Hankins should make for good battery-mates, as they should progress through the minors with similar timeframes. As one of the older prospects, Bobby Bradley is a MLB-ready talent who’s signature talent is hitting the long-ball. Still only 23, Bradley has a couple years left to cut down on his K-rate and turn into a fine 1st baseman. Daniel Johnson is another more developed prospect who could make an impact in 2020. His well-rounded attributes could make him a valuable asset for Cleveland.

21.) Oakland Athletics

AJ Puk, SP (OAK)
  1. Jesus Luzardo, SP (9)
  2. Sean Murphy, C (64)
  3. AJ Puk, SP (66)
  4. Jorge Mateo, SS
  5. James Kaprielian, SP
  6. Lazaro Armentaros, OF
  7. Grant Holmes, SP
  8. Austin Beck, OF
  9. Robert Puason, SS
  10. Daulton Jefferies, SP

OAK Overview: One of the best things about the A’s farm system is that 6 of their top 7 prospects are at the MLB or Triple-A level. Their 3 top 100 prospects, Luzardo, Murphy and Puk, were all September call-ups, and all three have been dominating in their time at the MLB level. Sean Murphy should be a lock to be on the 2020 opening day roster, while Puk and Luzardo should vie for a rotation spot during Spring Training. Robert Puason could soon be one of Oakland’s top five, as they used over 5 million dollars of their international signing pool money to land him. Kaprielian and Mateo were both shipped to Oakland from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade, and they look as if they could make a key impact at some point in 2020. Former 1st round picks, Austin Beck and Logan Davidson, have struggled in their time in pro-ball so their stocks will continue to drop if they can’t reach their potential in 2020. Overall, I like Oakland’s system, but their are not too many high-ceiling guys. Most are projectable, yet unlikely to ever develop “superstar” attributes.

Ranking MLB’s Best Minor League Farm Systems, Early-2019 (21-30)

These are my 2019 Early Season Rankings for MLB’s top farm systems. In this article, we will be looking at the systems ranked 21-30. Numbers 11-20 and 1-10 will be released later in May.

30.) St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Nolan Gorman, 3B (46)
  2. Andrew Knizner, C
  3. Malcom Nunez, 3B
  4. Jhon Torres, OF
  5. Dylan Carlson, OF
  6. Genesis Cabrera, SP
  7. Justin Williams, OF
  8. Johan Oviedo, SP
  9. Ryan Helsley, SP
  10. Luken Baker, 1B

STL Overview: After graduating players like Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes and Harrison Bader, and dealing other top prospects like Oscar Mercado and Carson Kelly, there is not much talent remaining in St. Louis’ farm system. Nolan Gorman is the exception, coming in at #46 on my 2019 Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings 1.0 (Early Season). Gorman, along with catcher Andrew Knizner, are the only two Cardinals prospects who I see as reliable guys, who I would be confident in saying they will be successful major leaguers.

29.) Chicago Cubs

  1. Nico Hoerner, SS (79)
  2. Brailyn Marquez, SP
  3. Miguel Amaya, C
  4. Oscar De La Cruz, SP
  5. Adbert Azolay, SP
  6. Aramis Ademan, SS
  7. Corey Abbott, SP
  8. Zack Short, SS
  9. Tyson Miller, SP
  10. Nelson Velazquez, OF

CHI Overview: I was very close between St. Louis and Chicago for the last spot in my rankings, as I dislike both systems equally. After multiple terrible trades (Jose Quintana/Aroldis Chapman) the Cubs lost elite prospects Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, and Dylan Cease. It is very hard for a system to recover after trades like these, especially if their major league club is not willing to part with any talented veterans. Nico Hoerner is their only top 100 prospect, and may be their only one for quite a while. Oscar de la Cruz was one of my favorite Cubs prospects a couple years ago, but injuries and a long suspension have dampened expectations. If he can turn things around, de la Cruz is probably the only possible candidate to make my Late-2019 top 100 list.

28.) Washington Nationals

  1. Carter Kieboom, SS (25)
  2. Luis V. Garcia, SS/2B/3B (72)
  3. Mason Denaburg, SP
  4. Tim Cate, SP
  5. Wil Crowe, SP
  6. Sterling Sharp, SP
  7. Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
  8. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF
  9. Seth Romero, SP
  10. Jose Sanchez, SS

WSH Overview: Out of all the MLB systems, I’d have to say the Nationals’ is the one lacking the most depth. Outside of the top two or three guys, I wouldn’t consider many of the rest to be quality prospects. Carter Kieboom just recently made his MLB debut, so when he ends up losing his prospect status, I would have the Nationals as the last ranked group. Luis V. Garcia is a decent prospect, but he has struggled mightily after his promotion to Double-A in 2019. To be fair he is only 18 years old (well under the average for Double-A), but I’m sure the Nationals expected a bit more. Mason Denaburg, the Nationals’ 2018 1st round pick, has yet to pitch in a professional game, but could wind up being their best pitching prospect. Yasel Antuna is an intriguing guy, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

27.) Cleveland Indians

  1. Triston McKenzie, SP (51)
  2. Nolan Jones, 3B (88)
  3. Ethan Hankins, SP
  4. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B
  5. Oscar Mercado, OF
  6. Lenny Torres Jr., SP
  7. Brayan Rocchio, SS
  8. Bo Naylor, C
  9. Luis Oviedo, SP
  10. Daniel Johnson, OF

CLE Overview: The Indians have one of the youngest farm systems out of any team. While this means their rank is quite low, most of their players have plenty of time to develop, and I could see Cleveland making a big jump in my Late-2019 rankings. 2018 draftees, Noah “Bo” Naylor and Ethan Hankins are both guys I could see being in my Late-2019 Top 100 Rankings. Both offer high ceilings and they will both be 19 for the majority of the 2019 season. Oscar Mercado is one of the more underrated prospects in my opinion. On the brink of reaching the MLB, Mercado is a speedy outfielder who could make a big impact on the major league roster. The Indians’ top two prospects, Triston McKenzie and Nolan Jones, are only 21 years old and also have plenty of time to increase their stock. The only issue with having such a young farm system is that Cleveland won’t be able to get much help within the next year or two, but youth is always a benefit when it comes to building superstars.

26.) San Francisco Giants

Heliot Ramos, OF (SF)
  1. Joey Bart, C (12)
  2. Heliot Ramos, OF (80)
  3. Marco Luciano, SS
  4. Jake Wong, SP
  5. Shaun Anderson, SP
  6. Sean Hjelle, SP
  7. Seth Corry, SP
  8. Jairo Pomares, OF
  9. Jalen Miller, 2B
  10. Luis Toribio, 3B

SF Overview: The Giants possess one of the rarest things among their prospects, an elite catcher. Joey Bart is not only the best catching prospect, but he is one of the very best prospects at any position. It is extremely rare to see a catcher rated so highly as both a defender and as a hitter. As of now Bart has a huge gap between him and the next best catching prospect, but that may change when Adley Rutschman (projected #1 overall pick in 2019) gets drafted. Aside from Bart, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano are the only other two guys who I’d consider to be “top prospects”. Ramos has shown a lot of power amidst his inconsistency, and Luciano would likely have ranked in my top 100, but he is yet to appear in a professional game. The rest of the system has some talent, but I don’t see anyone currently in San Francisco’s system else ever reaching my top 100 list. Seth Corry is a name to watch as a guy who has been flying under the radar. Corry has dominated in Class-A, and I’d expect a promotion within weeks assuming he keeps it up.

25.) Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Adonis Medina, SP (58)
  2. Alec Bohm, 3B (70)
  3. Luis Garcia, SS (95)
  4. Adam Haseley, OF
  5. Spencer Howard, SP
  6. Mickey Moniak, OF
  7. Enyel De Los Santos, SP
  8. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF
  9. Cole Irvin, SP
  10. Kevin Gowdy, SP

PHI Overview: Even after losing their best prospect, Sixto Sanchez, in the trade for J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia still had three prospects in my top 100 rankings. Both Alec Bohm and Luis Garcia started the 2019 season in Class-A, but Bohm already received a well deserved promotion to A-Advanced. One of the biggest names in the Phillies system Mickey Moniak, was the #1 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Yet to break out as a professional, Moniak is still only 20 years old and there is still a chance he turns out to be the star that the Phillies expected when taking him first overall. Outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz offers exciting raw power and Adam Haseley, another outfielder, has a very well rounded skill set that should keep him moving up the system. Medina, Howard, and De Los Santos offer relatively high floors as starters, and should all be contributing within a year.

24.) New York Yankees

  1. Estevan Florial, OF (69)
  2. Albert Abreu, SP
  3. Jonathan Loaisiga, SP
  4. Clarke Schmidt, SP
  5. Anthony Seigler, C
  6. Deivi Garcia, SP
  7. Domingo Acevedo, RP/SP
  8. Thairo Estrada, UTIL
  9. Luis Gil, SP
  10. Josh Stowers, OF

NYY Overview: For one of the best MLB rosters, the Yankees farm system is understandably depleted. Recent graduates include stars like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and Domingo German. Their only top 100 prospect in my rankings, Estevan Florial, is yet to play in 2019 due to a broken wrist. Recent 1st round picks, Clarke Schmidt and Anthony Seigler, seem to be worthy of those high selections, but are very far from contributing to the Yankees. 2017 2nd round pick, Matt Sauer, would have ranked in the Yankees’ top 10 list, but will miss all of 2019 and a large part of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. With Estrada and Loaisiga already called up to the MLB, Domingo Acevedo or Albert Abreu could be next. Both at Double-A, with the amount of injuries to the Yankees’ MLB team, Acevedo or Abreu could be up before expected.

23.) Boston Red Sox

  1. Michael Chavis, 3B/2B (56)
  2. Darwinzon Hernandez, SP (86)
  3. Bobby Dalbec, 3B
  4. Tristan Casas, 1B
  5. Antoni Flores, SS
  6. Jarren Duran, OF
  7. C.J. Chatham, SS
  8. Bryan Mata, SP
  9. Jay Groome, SP
  10. Tanner Houck, SP

BOS Overview: Ever since losing Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, and Luis Alexander Basabe in the Chris Sale trade, Boston has not had the same top tier talent. Chavis, my number 56 overall prospect, may be the exception. After being called up to Boston early in the 2019 season, Chavis has gotten off to an extremely hot start. Darwinzon Hernandez also got a taste of the majors, pitching well in one relief appearance before being optioned back to Double-A. #9 prospect, Jay Groome, has been derailed by injuries, but may be Boston’s best pitching prospect when healthy. Antoni Flores is a guy who I could see doing very well, but he has not had enough at-bats to constitute a top-100 ranking.

22.) New York Mets

Ronny Mauricio, SS (NYM)
  1. Peter Alonso, 1B (14)
  2. Andres Gimenez, SS (53)
  3. Ronny Mauricio, SS (75)
  4. Anthony Kay, SP
  5. Adrian Hernandez, OF
  6. Simeon Woods-Richardson, SP
  7. Mark Vientos, 3B
  8. Junior Santos, SP
  9. David Peterson, SP
  10. Shervyen Newton, SS

NYM Overview: One of the best rookie performances so far in 2019 has been Pete Alonso’s amazing stretch with the Mets. Taking opponents by storm, Alonso already has 10 HRs in just over 100 at bats. Alonso will soon no longer be “prospect eligible”, which will most likely make the Mets system drop in the rankings. Shortstops Andres Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio are two former international signees who will likely be the Mets’ future SS/2B combo if all goes well. The Mets pitching lacks a “front of the rotation” guy after the trade of Justin Dunn, but they still have quality depth with David Peterson, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods-Richardson all projected to be mid-to-back end rotation guys.

21.) Milwaukee Brewers

  1. Keston Hiura, 2B (22)
  2. Corey Ray, OF (81)
  3. Mauricio Dubon, SS/2B
  4. Brice Turang, SS
  5. Joe Gray Jr., OF
  6. Lucas Erceg, 3B
  7. Larry Ernesto, OF
  8. Troy Stokes Jr., OF
  9. Tristan Lutz, OF
  10. Marco Feliciano, C

MIL Overview: Keston Hiura is the gem of the Brewers’ system. The former #9 overall pick has been excellent at the plate, and is looking like he will make a huge impact sometime in 2019. The Brewers’ second top 100 prospect is Corey Ray. The #5 overall pick in 2016, Ray had struggled in 2016 and 2017, not living up to the expectations of a top five pick. 2018 was a breakout year for Ray as he showed his exciting 5-tool abilities. Both Ray and Hiura started their 2019 seasons in Triple-A, so both may be up in Milwaukee as early as June/July. Their top three prospects (and five out of the top ten), are in Triple-A, so the Brewers should have some available talent during the 2019 season. Although all ten of the Brewers top prospects ore position players, they do have some quality pitching prospects as well. Starters Zack Brown and Trey Supak narrowly missed my MIL top 10, and both are having great starts to 2019.

Trade Review – Christian Yelich, MIA & MIL

Christian Yelich with the Milwaukee Brewers

Having been over a year removed from the Christian Yelich blockbuster trade, now is as good a time as any to look back upon the deal and see how things have been working out for both sides.

The Deal: January 25th, 2018

Brewers Receive: Christian Yelich

Marlins Receive: Lewis Brinson (OF), Isan Diaz (2B), Monte Harrison (OF), and Jordan Yamamoto (SP)

General Overview: At the time of the deal, Miami was in the middle of one of the biggest, most impactful rebuilds of the decade. Moving Yelich was more of a “when” as opposed to an “if”. Every talented player wanted out of the crumbling franchise. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, AJ Ramos, and David Phelps are a few names dealt around the same time. The main focus of the organization was to bring in as many top prospects as possible to reboot their farm system with young talent. On the Brewers’ end of things, the playoffs were well within reach. The acquisitions of both Yelich and Lorenzo Cain greatly improved Milwaukee’s roster. Though Brinson, Diaz, and Harrison were ranked among the top 100 prospects by many experts, gaining Yelich seemed to be worth it for Milwaukee.

Brewers Overview: So far is seems as if the clear winner of the deal is Milwaukee. Yelich has performed at a legitimate MVP level since being dealt to the Brewers, while the prospects sent to Miami have not done anything that would make the Brewers regret the deal. Being on such a team friendly contract doesn’t hurt Yelich’s value either, making it seem like an even bigger steal for the Brewers. Hitting .326 with 36 HRs in his first season with the Brew Crew, Yelich is on his way to an even better season in 2019. While giving up 4 prospects has depleted their system of top tier talent, Milwaukee could not be happier with the way Yelich has performed.

Marlins Overview: The Marlins return in the Christian Yelich trade was extremely deep, and included 4 highly rated prospects. Outfield Lewis Brinson was the headliner of the deal, being ranked in the top 20 of almost all prospect rankings. Unfortunately for Miami, Brinson also appears to be the biggest bust of the deal. After a short time with Marlins minor league affiliates, Brinson made his Marlins debut in 2018 . Unable to even reach a .200 AVG within his first two seasons in Miami, he has struggled mightily at the plate, with an OBP of an alarming .241. While it is too early to declare the 24 year old a true bust, his performance can not be viewed as encouraging to Marlins fans.

Monte Harrison with Marlins Double-A affiliate, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2018

The second piece to the deal was Monte Harrison. Another speedy Brewers outfielder coming to the Marlins, Harrison had a superb 20+/20+ season before being dealt. In his first season in the Marlins organization, Harrison showed off his 5-tool abilities in Double-A Jacksonville, but had issues with a very high strikeout rate. Currently in Triple-A, the hope is that he can reduce his strikeouts while retaining his speed/power combination versus tougher competition. Harrison is currently the highest ceiling player acquired by the Marlins from their rebuild, so everyone in the organization will be sure to give him the assistance and coaching he needs to be as successful as possible.

Second baseman Isan Diaz was the third position player to be dealt during this trade. So far Diaz has not performed well for Miami, but he has also showed some signs that he may become another 5-tool guy for the Marlins. the real trend with these three position players was their 5-tool potential, with low floors and high ceilings. The expectation was that at least one of the three could become an elite “face of the franchise” to replace all the departed veterans, but so far that has not happened.

Jordan Yamamoto, RHP

Lastly, the only pitcher the Marlins acquired in this trade was Jordan Yamamoto. So far the Hawaiian native, Yamamoto, has pitched like an ace for the Marlins Class A-Advanced and Double-A teams. Posting a 1.82 ERA since the trade, he appears to have been the best part of the package. With a great WHIP and respectable strikeout numbers, the Marlins are hoping Yamamoto can surpass his lower expectations and become the best part of the deal.

Player Grades:

Christian Yelich: A+

Lewis Brinson: C-

Monte Harrison: B

Isan Dian: C+

Jordan Yamamoto: A

Winner: Milwaukee Brewers