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Major League Baseball's offseason is underway, and that means everyone is thinking about the future. In most cities, that means next season; in some, though, it means the bigger picture, the next three to five years. You're either selling wins or you're selling hope, the old saying goes. We here at CBS Sports like to provide as much hope as we can around this time of the winter by evaluating each team's farm system.

Of course, that doesn't mean every team has an equally good farm system -- some, as you'll find out throughout this process, are lacking in that respect. It does mean, nevertheless, that CBS Sports will be spending the next couple of weeks examining the top three prospects in each organization. (We define "prospects" as retaining their rookie eligibility for the 2024 season, so if a young player is missing that's likely why.) That process begins today, and will continue into February when we reveal the spring's top 50 list.

These lists and evaluations are formed following conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development types. There's also firsthand evaluation and bias thrown into the mix. Keep in mind that player evaluation is a hard task, and it's fine if you disagree with the rankings. (You can check out our winter top 25 list by clicking here.)

With that in mind, let's get to it by dissecting the Boston Red Sox.

1. Roman Anthony, OF (19 years old)

  • Top 25 ranking: No. 17
  • The short version: Showed power and on-base upside during breakout year
  • MLB ETA: Late 2024

Here's one way to summarize Anthony's strength: Although he's a left-handed batter, nine of his 14 home runs last season were hit to either left or left-center field. That would be an impressive display of opposite-field power by anyone, let alone a player who was 19 for most of the year. Anthony has also shown a keen eye and has mostly kept his strikeout rates under 20% as a professional (his contact rate did crater in High-A, though it then rebounded once he reached Double-A). He could stand to put the ball in the air more frequently as a means of maximizing his slugging potential. Even so, it bodes well for him that he's sporting such a broad offensive skill set at such a young age.

2. Marcelo Mayer, SS (21 years old)

  • Top 25 ranking: No. 20
  • The short version: Capable shortstop with a capable bat
  • MLB ETA: Late 2024

Mayer has long received praise from scouts for the fluidity of his defense. He's not the most explosive athlete. He doesn't have the most range or the strongest arm. But he makes up for those shortcomings with a feel for the position that should let him stick there. Offensively, Mayer had shown good strength and a fondness for taking walks until he hit a rough patch upon reaching Double-A. His season ended in early August, and it's likely that it impacted him on some level before he was shut down. We also have some concerns about how often he swings and misses, and about how frequently he pops up the ball. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, but his stock is beginning to slip.

3. Kyle Teel, C (22 years old)

  • The short version: Two-way backstop on the fast track to the majors
  • MLB ETA: Summer 2024

The Red Sox chose Teel No. 14 pick in last July's draft. Early indications suggest that could be a steal. The Red Sox pushed Teel right along after he debuted, tasking him with a nine-game stint in Double-A to close out the year. He hit .363/.483/.495 with one fewer walk than strikeout in 114 professional plate appearances. Teel is a well-rounded backstop with a strong arm and an appreciable feel for contact. Barring injury, he seems certain to debut in 2024.