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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 months 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. 

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. These are opinions, and they have no real bearing on the future. You can check out our winter top 25 list by clicking here.

With that in mind, let's get to it by dissecting the Los Angeles Angels.

1. Nolan Schanuel, 1B (22 years old)

  • The short version: Impressive debut, but power questions loom.
  • MLB ETA: Debuted in 2023

Schanuel made his big-league debut about a month after being drafted 11th overall. Considering the circumstances, the Angels had to be thrilled that he posted a 103 OPS+ and walked more times than he struck out in his first 132 trips to the plate. There is one area of concern that has dogged Schanuel dating back to his amateur days: his power upside. He lacked top-end exit velocities at FAU, though his boosters pointed out that the Owls' dataset wasn't complete and that he showed more than enough juice when judged by the eye test. Fair enough … except Schanuel's maximum exit velocity in the majors would have ranked as the second-worst among qualifiers hitters last season, ahead of only Tony Kemp. That's not what you want from an immobile first baseman, even one with an appreciable feel for the strike zone and contact. We'll see what he can do with an offseason under his belt and some time to catch his breath, but he's going to top out as a second-division starter if he doesn't add more wallop.

2. Caden Dana, RHP (20 years old)

  • The short version: Promising right-hander with rotation upside.
  • MLB ETA: Summer 2025

Dana received nearly $1.5 million after being drafted in the 11th round in 2022. Rest assured, he wasn't a "true" 11th-round pick. Rather, he was (and is) a strapping right-hander with a budding fastball-curveball combination who slipped because of signability concerns. Dana did walk four batters per nine innings in his first full professional season, and he doesn't always get his arm up at foot strike. It's possible he can clean that up a bit heading forward.

3. Ben Joyce, RHP (23 years old)

  • The short version: Perhaps the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball.
  • MLB ETA: Debuted in 2023

One scout joked we should rank the Angels' 2024 first-round pick here as a nod to the system's leanness. We're rolling instead with Joyce, who has elite -- and we do mean elite -- arm strength. His fastball averaged 100.9 mph over 12 appearances last season, and it may play even faster than that because of his deep release point. Alas, Joyce struggled with both his health and location in 2023, preventing him from establishing a hold on a high-leverage job. If he can stay on the mound and around the plate more often going forward, he could end up serving as the Angels' closer of the future.