Major League Baseball’s offseason is in full swing, 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 few weeks examining the top three prospects in each organization. We define “prospects” as retaining their rookie eligibility for the 2023 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..
With that in mind, let’s get to it by dissecting the Chicago White Sox.
Montgomery, the 22nd pick in the 2021 draft by way of Huntingburg, Indiana, elicited comparisons to Rangers shortstop Corey Seager based on their similar builds and skill sets. He split his first full professional season between three levels, reaching as high as Double-A while batting a combined .274/.381/.429. Montgomery has a good feel for the strike zone and for making contact, and his gangly frame inspires hope that he’ll tap into more of his above-average raw power as he matures. Defensively, he has a left-side arm and a fair chance to remain at short, though it is possible that he has to move elsewhere, perhaps to third, if he loses a step (or more) as he continues to mature and add muscle.
2. Bryan Ramos, 3B (2023 seasonal age: 21)
Ramos won’t celebrate his 21st birthday until March, but he reached Double-A late last season on the heels of hitting .275/.350/.471 in 99 games against High-A competition that was, on average, two and a half years his senior. That’s a positive indicator for his long-term offensive prospects. (His stint in Double-A didn’t go nearly as well,…