|While the Polish Sausage is a gritty veteran, the Brewers last impact sausage to come through the system was the Chorizo in 2007.|
Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is tonight, and the Brewers will be represented by the team's two bright spots: centerfielder Carlos Gomez and shortstop Jean Segura.
While these two have been pleasant surprises, the Brewers are on pace to lose 96 games in what might be the ugliest season since the 2002 Crew lost 106. When the team resumes play Friday after the All-Star break, many fans will be thinking about what future editions of Milwaukee baseball look like. For fans of the 2002 Brewers, there was reason for optimism. The farm system was stocked with Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart and others, and the team's disastrous record obtained the second pick in the draft--a pick that became Rickie Weeks.
Do fans of this year's Brewer squad have reason for optimism about the future? According to Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis, the answer is a pretty resounding "NO." From Appleton's Post-Crescent:
Before the season, Baseball America — the foremost authority on prospects and minor league baseball — ranked the Brewers’ minor league talent 23rd out of the 30 teams in baseball....“It’s not like anything stands out about the system,” [Callis] said about the Brewers during a recent phone interview. “They’ve had some extra picks but those haven’t paid off so far. There’s not a lot of top 100 type prospects, not a lot of depth. It’s kind of thin. “I wouldn’t say it’s devoid of prospects, but it’s kind of below standard in however you want to look at it.”Click the link to read an analysis of the Brewers top 20 prospects. For me, the lack of talent is one of the more depressing parts of this Brewer team. Being a Milwaukee fan in the early 2000s was almost predicated by "When these guys in the minors are ready, the Brewers are going to make some noise..." I then followed the minor league careers of Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy and others. There's simply no prospects of that caliber in the system right now.
Given that the Brewers are a small market team, they can't compete by writing big checks to free agents. That means they need to do a better job of scouting, drafting and developing. But while the farm system is barren now, that doesn't mean there aren't reasons to have hope. On Thursday, we'll be back with a look at how the Brewers might rebuild.