Hark! A Prospect? Tyler Thornburg Impressing | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

It’s difficult to overstate just how bad the Milwaukee Brewers farm system looked after the trades to bring in Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. It was the consensus worst system in the majors by a wide margin, largely due to an utter lack of star talent. To put it in perspective: the number one prospect on the Brewerfan.net Power 50 is Wily Peralta, rated a three-star prospect by Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein

You may notice a new name in second place on the Brewefan Power 50. That name is Tyler Thornburg, a right-handed starting pitcher selected in the third round of last year’s draft. Thornburg laid waste to the Midwest League this spring as a member of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The 22-year-old started 12 games, striking out 76 batters in 68.2 innings, walking 26 and allowing only 49 hits — a total of 76 strikeouts against 75 baserunners, and an unsurprisingly low 1.57 ERA.

That performance earned Thornburg a quick promotion the High-A Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League. He’s been solid there through his first three starts, striking out 20 of the first 65 batters he’s faced. His control has been a bit worse with the promotion, with seven walks in his first 16 innings, but nothing out of the ordinary for a three-start sample.

Given Thornburg’s age, an impressive performance at Low-A was a must for him to earn “prospect status,” and even then, expectations for Thornburg can still be tempered. Many prospect evaluators seem to think his future is in the bullpen, especially because his changeup is merely “functional.” However, as long as he continues to succeed in the minor leagues, Thornburg will at least be a Brewer farmhand whose future we can be excited about, and right now, those are few and far between.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. jerome blondski says: July 8, 2011

    It would be nice to have a brewers blog with somewhat of a positive outlook. Everything you post has a negative attitude. Must not be much of a fan. Keep on hatin hater.

  2. Buddy Brewer says: July 8, 2011

    I wouldn’t worry much about how the minor league system is ranked. The better teams often have “weak” systems. The Cardinals, for example, are forever said to have a poor minor league system.

    It’s hard for a team that doesn’t have top draft picks to be highly ranked because the rankings are based on how many “top prospects” a system has.

    The best way the evaluate a minor league system is by how many good quality major league players it produces. By that standard, the Brewers are doing pretty good.

  3. JB says: July 8, 2011

    We do have a terrible system since we lost Jack Z to Seattle and replaced him with a moron in Seid. Instead of picking potential stars with high upsides we now draft polished pitchers who have the potential to be 4th and 5th starters. We need a new GM and a new scouting director as soon as possible.


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