State of the Farm: There is a place. Where I can go. When I feel low. When I feel blue. And it's my mind. And there's no time when I'm alone.”

Prospect rankings primer

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Wily Peralta
  2. RHP Tyler Thornburg
  3. RHP Johnny Hellweg
  4. RHP Taylor Jungmann
  5. OF Victor Roache
  6. RHP Jorge Lopez
  7. C Clint Coulter
  8. OF Mitch Haniger
  9. OF Tyrone Taylor
  10. 2B Scooter Gennett

1. Wily Peralta
Position: RHP
DOB: 05/08/1989
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 240 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2005, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: 4.66 ERA (146.2 IP, 154 H, 143 K, 78 BB) at Triple-A Nashville; 2.48 ERA (29 IP, 24 H, 23 K, 11 BB) at major-league level
The Tools: 7+ FB; 6 SL

What Happened in 2012: After a solid Triple-A campaign, Peralta made five major-league starts and positioned himself for a more substantial role at that level in 2013.

Strengths: Huge arm strength; pitches with power; arm is very fast; fastball velocity near elite; can work in the 95-97 range with ease; very meaty and hard to lift; slider is second plus offering; very hard and sharp at 85-86; body to handle innings.

Weaknesses: Arsenal lacks nuance; everything is hard and max effort; overall command is below average; more hittable than stuff suggests; slider can lose rotation and slurve; changeup is often too firm and loses action; might be better fit for bullpen.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter/frontline setup

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; struggles with command and arsenal consistency, but already achieved major-league level; high floor.

Fantasy Future: As a starter, Peralta has the body to log massive innings and offer league-average production; as reliever, potential to excel in setup role, with high-octane arsenal with bat-missing ability.

The Year Ahead: Very mixed opinion on Peralta, with some scouts standing behind him as a starter, suggesting his power arsenal will play with loose command and limited nuance, while others see an intimidating power arm in the back of a bullpen. The command will need to improve in either role for sustainable success at the highest level, but the raw stuff gives him a chance to be an impact talent.

Major league ETA: 2012

2. Tyler Thornburg
Position: RHP
DOB: 09/29/1988
Height/Weight: 5’11’’ 190 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 3rd round, 2010 draft, Charleston Southern University
(Charleston, SC)
2012 Stats: 3.00 ERA (75 IP, 57 H, 71 K, 24 BB) at Double-A Huntsville; 3.58 ERA
(37.2 IP, 38 H, 42 K, 13 BB) at Triple-A Nashville; 4.50 ERA (22 IP, 24 H, 20 K, 7 BB) at major-league level.
The Tools: 6 (7 potential) FB; 5 CB; 5 CH

What Happened in 2012: The diminutive righty looked the part of a major-league pitcher in the upper minors, but stumbled with the real thing in his sporadic call-ups to the biggest stage.

Strengths: Surprising arm strength; able to create sharp angles to the plate despite limited height; deception in the delivery; fastball can work in the low 90s and touch plus-plus velocity in bursts; curveball plays well as average offering; changes sight lines; shows some depth; changeup flashes plus; excellent late action to the arm-side; tough to pick up; good strike-throwing ability; big competitor.

Weaknesses: Limited size; torque-heavy delivery is noisy with dramatic hip turn; fastball command is loose; needs to work down to create plane; small margin of error.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; solid three-pitch mix and good control; lacks ideal size and delivery for heavy workload.

Fantasy Future: Could develop into a league-average starter, although body not ideal for heavy innings; could end up in the bullpen in a late-innings capacity.

The Year Ahead: As with rotation mate Peralta, the scouting industry is mixed on his ultimate role, with his limited size, noisy delivery, and big fastball potential pointing to a possible bullpen future. But Thornburg has a very good arm and makes the delivery work, and with a solid three-pith mix and a good feel for throwing strikes, it’s entirely possible that he finds success in a major-league rotation despite not having prototypical size.

Major league ETA: 2012

3. Johnny Hellweg
Position: RHP
DOB: 10/29/1988
Height/Weight: 6’9’’ 210 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 16th round, 2008 draft (Angels), Florida College (Jacksonville, FL)
2012 Stats: 3.29 ERA (139.2 IP, 121 H, 105 K, 59 BB) at Double-A (Arkansas/Hunstville)
The Tools: 7 FB; 5+CB

What Happened in 2012: Hellweg bounced around from rotation to ‘pen, but the one constant in his profile was the shaky command, which continues to prevent him from exploding as a prospect.

Strengths: Unnatural length; extremely long levers; impressive arm strength; fastball is monster offering; routinely working mid-90s; can touch higher; steep and heavy; curveball will flash, showing two-plane movement and some depth; scary extension allows ball to jump on hitters.

Weaknesses: Below-average command; struggles to finish delivery and stay over the ball; lots of body to control; changeup can show some sink, but is often too firm and lacks deception.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter/frontline setup

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; has major-league arm, but below-average command and unknown role.

Fantasy Future: If the command profile improves without losing the stuff, Hellweg could defy projection and reach lofty heights. Has the body for innings and the arm to miss bats. Big package in either rotation or bullpen.

The Year Ahead: Big year for the 6’9’’ hurler, as a lack of command and a fringy changeup suggests a bullpen future, but the high-end value is found in the rotation, where the plus-plus fastball and above-average curve have found some success. With some extra patience and a focused role, Hellweg has the raw tools to develop into a high-impact arm. Advancing to Triple-A will put his command woes to the test, and if he can exorcise those demons, could jump up prospect lists as he jumps into a major-league environment.

Major league ETA: 2013

4. Taylor Jungmann
Position: RHP
DOB: 12/181/1989
Height/Weight: 6’6’’ 210 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011, University of Texas (Austin, TX)
2012 Stats: 3.53 ERA (153 IP, 159 H, 99 K, 46 BB) at High-A Brevard County
The Tools: 5+ FB; 5 SL

What Happened in 2012: The 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft made his professional debut in the Florida State League, where the raw stuff struggled to live up to the hype.

Strengths: Impressive size/strength; very easy delivery; smooth and repeatable; plays catch; fastball is 5+ offering, with low-90s velocity; shows ability to manipulate pitch, with good sink and occasional cutting action; shows multiple breaking-ball looks; good strike-throwing ability; workhorse in the making.

Weaknesses: Lacks major-league out pitch; fastball lives too freely in the zone; breaking balls get slurvy; slider needs more intensity and sharpness to play against major-league hitters; changeup is underdeveloped.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; limited professional record, but has excellent size, strength, and mature strike-throwing profile.

Fantasy Future: Looks like a workhorse starter, with body/delivery for 200-plus innings at around major-league average production.

The Year Ahead: Based on his college resume and draft status, Jungmann was expected to offer more in the way of stuff, but looked more like a backend type than a frontline starter. His career is just getting started, and if he can develop into an innings-eating rotation staple, he will provide tremendous value to an organization. But I don’t think the Brewers had a mid-range workhorse in mind when they popped him with the no. 12 pick in the entire draft. Jungmann is ready for the Double-A level, and with improved command and a sharper breaking ball, could enhance his diminished prospect status and perhaps put himself in contention for a rotation spot for 2014.

Major league ETA: 2014

5. Victor Roache
Position: OF
DOB: 09/17/1991
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 225 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012, Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)
2012 Stats: N/A
The Tools: 5 potential hit; 7 raw; 5+ arm

What Happened in 2012: A broken wrist in late February not only kept Roache from going in the top 10 in the draft, but kept him off the field for the rest of the season.

Strengths: Big strength; muscular build; quality athlete for body type; raw power is the cornerstone of the skill-set; high-end bat speed and serious leverage; could end up with plus-plus game power; raw arm strength is above-average; enough run for a corner.

Weaknesses: Hit tool has question marks; approach is aggressive; has fastball eyes and likes to swing big; struggles with soft/spinning; arm utility plays down; glove is only fringe; body could become high maintenance.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; healthy after wrist injury, but effects can linger; approach is aggressive and hit tool might profile as below average.

Fantasy Future: Has middle-of-the-order power profile from a corner outfield spot; unlikely to hit for high average or steal bases.

The Year Ahead: Roache just needs to get on a field and prove that the injury to his wrist won’t have any lasting effect on his power potential. A few sources suggested Roache had top 10 potential had he remained healthy and productive, as his type of raw power is rare. Too many unknowns at this point to speculate, but if he returns to form, he could sit atop this list in 2014.

Major league ETA: 2016

6. Jorge Lopez
Position: RHP
DOB: 02/10/1993
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 175 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round. 2011, Caguas Military Academy (Caguas, PR)
2012 Stats: 5.06 ERA (48.0 IP, 49 H, 46 K, 22 BB) at complex level (DSL/AZL)
The Tools: 6+ potential FB; 6+ potential CB

What Happened in 2012: Lopez stayed tethered to the complex level, where he continued to flash plus stuff mixed in with spotty command.

Strengths: Long, with projectable body; long levered; fluid delivery with fast arm; fastball will work upper-80s/low-90s; highly projectable; comes out of the hand easy and has some sink; curveball is second plus-potential offering; hard breaker with big vertical bite; looks like future bat-misser; not afraid to attack.

Weaknesses: Still raw; thrower more than a pitcher; arm action can get long; struggles to finish/stay over ball; changeup is still an infant; fringe command profile; long way to go.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter

Explanation of Risk: High risk; complex league resume; wide gap between present/future.

Fantasy Future: With prototypical size and the potential for two plus pitches, could develop into mid-rotation arm, with bat-missing ability but loose command.

The Year Ahead: Lopez has yet to escape rookie ball, and life outside of complex ball can be dangerous waters for a raw thrower. A jump to full-season ball seems unlikely given the present level of refinement, but scouts that are high on Lopez are really high on Lopez, and some believe he has the moxie to make such a professional jump. While it’s obvious that he needs to refine his command and build up his secondary arsenal, at this stage of the game, logging innings and building arm strength through fastball repetition is vital. The Brewers aren’t rushing the 20-year-old, and the patient approach could pay off in the end, as Lopez has one of the most promising arms in the system.

Major league ETA: 2017

7. Clint Coulter
Position: C
DOB: 07/30/1993
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 201 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, Union High School (Camas, WA)
2012 Stats: .302/.439/.444 at complex level AZL (49 games)
The Tools: 6+ raw power; 6+ arm strength

What Happened in 2012: The 27th overall pick in the draft brought a mature bat to the Arizona rookie league, where he showed contact ability, patience, and good pop.

Strengths: Well above-average raw strength; easy and natural bat-to-ball ability; short and sweet path to the ball; excellent extension at impact; drives to all fields; shows ability to square velocity; hit tool should play; mature approach; power is legit; projects to easy plus; arm strength is plus; makeup is considered exceptional; not afraid of wrench work.

Weaknesses: Bat-first catcher; lateral movements and overall agility are poor; footwork is heavy; strong arm, but catch/throw execution needs work; scouts are mixed on future behind the plate; well below-average speed; will have to hit.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High; will need several -grade jump to play behind the plate; makeup and work ethic make it possible.

Fantasy Future: The bat has the projections to play, with the chance for a solid-average hit tool and loud game power; will not be a stolen base threat; bat could play off position if he develops.

The Year Ahead: Viewed by many as hopeless behind the plate. Coulter took huge steps forward in 2012, and looks to do the same in 2013. Young catchers are saddled with heavy developmental burdens, and it takes makeup to succeed on both sides of the ball. By all accounts, Coulter isn’t going to fail because of a lack of effort, but the promise of his bat in combination with the weaknesses of his athletic profile behind the plate could push him off the position as he climbs the ladder. With plus-plus raw strength and a good swing, Coulter has the ability to develop an impact bat.

Major league ETA: 2017

8. Mitch Haniger
Position: OF
DOB: 12/23/1990
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 180 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, CA)
2012 Stats: .286/.379/.429 at Low-A Wisconsin (14 games)
The Tools: 5+ potential hit; 5 raw; 5+ arm

What Happened in 2012: Yet another first-round pick by the Brewers (supplemental), Haniger managed to play in only 14 games, but flashed enough in the small sample to get people excited over this long-term potential.

Strengths: Balanced overall baseball player; good athlete with good instincts; shows some bat speed and barrel ability; can make hard contact and drive the ball to the gaps; arm is above average and will play in right field; shows aptitude for middle of the diamond despite average-at-best speed.

Weaknesses: Swing mechanics can get hitchy; some struggles against plus velo because of early extension; lacks ideal profile for center field; projected run is fringe; power profile not ideal for corner; some tweener characteristics.

Overall Future Potential: 5; second-division starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; good feel for the game; good baseball skills.

Fantasy Future: In a corner, Hainger doesn’t have a crazy profile, as he might end up a .270-plus_hitter with 10-15 HR at his peak.

The Year Ahead: Haniger has the now skills and makeup to move quickly, and an assignment to High-A wouldn’t be considered overly aggressive. While he’s unlikely to stick in center field at the highest level, he does have good defensive skills and that added versatility gives him value. In a corner, his bat doesn’t profile at the first-division level, but if he can develop into a second-division starter, I’m sure that outcome will be warmly greeted.

Major league ETA: 2015

9. Tyrone Taylor
Position: CF
DOB: 10/22/1994
Height/Weight: 6’0’’ 185 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2012 draft, Torrance High School (Torrance, CA)
2012 Stats: .389/.395/.694 at complex level AZL (8 games); .385/.467/.641 at rookie level Helena (10 games)
The Tools: 7 run; 6 potential defensive profile; 5 potential hit

What Happened in 2012: While the sample is only 18 games, the second-round pick in the 2012 draft ripped the cover off the ball at two rookie-league stops.

Strengths: Plus-plus athlete; true 7 run; sprinter acceleration; covers large patches of earth in center; good glove; plus potential profile at premium position; contact isn’t empty; can put good wood to ball.

Weaknesses: Raw baseball skills; uses speed and athleticism to recover from shaky reads/routes; limited looks against quality competition.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; solid-average regular

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; small professional sample; wide gap between present/future tools; questions about offensive utility against better pitching.

Fantasy Future: Has the wheels to steal bases and the bat to put balls in play; could develop into front-of-the-lineup type if bat really matures.

The Year Ahead: Taylor could start in extended spring training before making a return trip to the Pioneer League, where he can work on fundamentals without getting exploited by advanced completion. Taylor is very young, and will play the entire 2013 season as an 18-year-old, so the Brewers can afford to take it slow with the toolsy player. The speed is loud, and the overall defensive profile has the potential to play above average. The bat looked the part in the short sample, but too many questions remain unanswered to push Taylor higher on this list.

Major league ETA: 2017

10. Scooter Gennett
Position: 2B
DOB: 05/01/1990
Height/Weight: 5’9’’ 165 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Acquired: 16th round, 2009 draft, Sarasota High School (Sarasota, FL)
2012 Stats: .293/.330/.385 at Double-A Huntsville (133 games)
The Tools: 5 hit; 5 glove

What Happened in 2012: Gennett continued his slow and steady climb up the minor league ladder, logging a full season of reps at the Double-A level.

Strengths: Good baseball instincts; plays with intensity and purpose; can make consistent contact; can square quality stuff; shows good bat control; some pop in the stick; glove will play as average tool; improving through repetition; gamer type (of course, guys named “Scooter” have to be gamers).

Weaknesses: Lacks plus tools; hit tool is carrying weapon; glove is only average; arm plays below average; shows some pop, but game power will play well below-average; will need to play above ceiling to make it work.

Overall Future Potential: 5; second-division starter

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; ready for Triple-A; shows baseball skills

Fantasy Future: He can make contact and isn’t a base clogger, so some batting average is possible. Unlikely to be stolen base threat, but will run the bases well and provide good situational hitting; not ideal offensive production at position.

The Year Ahead: As it goes, Gennett will move up to Triple-A and play another full campaign. The bat isn’t going to disappear, as he can turn back a baseball and stay in counts. He’s not a great hitter, but he is a tough out and will be able to barrel mistakes. The total package isn’t great, but should he play above his physical tools, he has a chance to carve out a career at the highest level, most likely as a second-division type.

Major league ETA: 2014

Prospects on the Rise

1. SS Orlando Arcia: What was to be a breakout season in 2012 was for naught, as an ankle injury spoiled his season before it had a chance to begin. Now healthy, the toolsy shortstop will look to flash his leather and his promising stick, and if all goes according to plan, become a bigger name in the prospect world.

2. SS Yadiel Rivera: Slick defensive chops at a premium position are hard to find, and at this point in his career, Rivera fits the profile of a glove-first player. But the bat has some potential, and if he can start to put better wood to the ball in 2013, he will be a legit player to keep an eye on.

3. C Cameron Garfield: Another player that has struggled to stay on a field so far in his professional career, the former second-round pick finally got healthy and took a big step forward in Low-A. Behind the curve, the backstop will look to continue the trend in High-A, which could propel him up prospects lists.

Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013

1. OF Logan Schafer: With a major-league call-up behind him, Schafer will look to solidify a spot on the 25-man in 2013, most likely as a versatile defensive bench outfielder with some contact ability and excellent fundamental awareness.

2. RHP Jimmy Nelson: With a bid body and funky mechanics, Nelson looks like a future late-inning arm, where his plus fastball could play up and his slider could miss barrels.

3. 1B Hunter Morris: This guy can hit a baseball and will eventually find a home at the major-league level performing that trick. He is very limited on defense, and he’s always going to have some swing-and-miss in his game, which could limit his overall effectiveness, but the thump in his bat could push him to the majors at some point in ’13.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

  1. Jean Segura
  2. Wily Peralta
  3. Tyler Thornburg
  4. Johnny Hellweg
  5. Taylor Jungmann
  6. Victor Roache
  7. Jorge Lopez
  8. Clint Coulter
  9. Mitch Haniger
  10. Tyrone Taylor

The only non-prospect to qualify for the Brewers Under-25 list is shortstop Jean Segura, the headline player in the trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels last summer. Along his developmental path, Segura has gone from solid second base prospect to a guy who can stick at shortstop and has the offensive potential to make a considerable impact.

While the Brewers don’t have a lot of big-league talent under the age of 25, they do have several players already in or heading into their prime, including Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Jonathan Lucroy, Yovani Gallardo, and Carlos Gomez. With that core of talent, the Brewers have several arms that could be big-league ready in the next 12-18 months, namely Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg, both of whom could help solidify the rotation behind Gallardo.

Further away in the pipeline, the Brewers have a few raw players like Clint Coulter, Tyrone Taylor, and Jorge Lopez who could make a significant impact down the line. The Brewers may not stand out as a team ready to bust down the door to the playoffs or a team on the rise, but they have young talent already in the majors and more on the way, meaning they could be poised to cause trouble in the National League Central for many years. –Mark Anderson

A Parting Thought: While it would be dishonest to sell this system as anything better than average at present, the 2012 draft could provide the talent infusion this organization desperately needs to build up the farm in short order.

Last year's Brewers rankings

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We often hear that HS pitchers lose some velocity and stuff in their first pro season and despite their more mature development it makes sense for college pitchers to have the same thing happen. But even with that background was Jungmann's drop in stuff unusually steep for a 1st C P and does that say anything about the likelihood that it bounces back some?
What fascinates me about Peralta is that he's shown pretty extreme groundball tendencies, especially for a guy throwing 95-97 with below average command. I was always under the (overly simplified) impression that this type of pitcher ends up pitching too much up in the zone and racking up flyballs and Ks as a result. Peralta seems to be the exact opposite of that so far.
I have seen Tyrone Taylor's birthday several places as Jan. 22, 1994. If true, how much does that change your opinion of him?
Wouldn't change it a whole lot for me. The up the middle profile and overall athleticism are still very tantalizing, whether he's 18 or 19 this season.
What do you think of Mark Rogers? Is his prospect time up? He's always been hurt but still has the stuff to be in a rotation
It's not technically up given his service time, but at some point you just have to be on the field. I still think he can pitch in the big leagues, maybe in a more limited role out of the bullpen, or maybe as an oft-injured starter, but I think he'll be around for a while.
And speaking of not-exactly-a-prospect types (NEAPs?), what do you think of Mike Fiers? Is his 2012 the real deal?

See also: Josh Collmenter
Josh Collmenter, 2011 : 5.83 K/9, .255 BABIP, 4.18 xFIP
Mike Fiers, 2012: 9.52 K/9, .319 BABIP, 3.47 xFIP

Not a great comparison other than an over-the-top delivery. Fiers may or may not be "for real", but he's missed bats his entire career despite his modest fastball
You write "meaty and hard to lift" under Wily Peralta's strengths. Is this a product of his #want?
"Meaty and hard to lift" I thought Jason was scouting my old girlfriends.
I would find the tools grades more helpful if the bad grades were listed as well. I've never, I think, seen a grade below 5 or potential 5. If someone has 20 speed or a 40 curveball or a 30 hit tool, lising it would give a more complete picture.
To be able to even call this system "average" is an indictment to the developmental staff. This system was TERRIBLE a couple of years ago.
Not as tarrible as it once was, but to call it average would be like putting lipstick on a pig.
Whither Jed Bradley? Kind of damning when you can't get a mention anywhere in this whole writeup.
Bradley's mechanics were a mess this year and the results spoke to that. I still consider him a prospect and someone worth watching, but the questions continue to pile up around him. He very well could be back in the Top 10 next year but I was in agreement with Jason's decision to exclude him this year.
Sorry for the delayed response. I appreciate the questions and comments. I'm in the DR and have been away from the computer.
What does "plays catch" mean, and why is it a good thing for a pitcher?
At the risk of speaking for Jason, he's saying it looks easy when he throws, like he's just playing catch.
I believe Ariel Pena was apart of the Angels top 11 last year and made an appearance in the Futures Game, although it didn't go well. Is his absence from this list due to Milwaukee's farm being better or did he decline over the last year?
How come Haniger checks in at 8 on the prospect list but behind #s 9 and 10 on the under 25?
That's just a miscommunication between Jason and I over a late change to the list. I'll work to get that corrected.