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. You can check out our winter top 20 list by clicking here.
With that in mind, let's get to it by dissecting the Miami Marlins.
1. Eury Pérez, RHP, No. 8 on the top 20 (2023 seasonal age: 20)
Not to be confused with the former journeyman outfielder of the same name, this Pérez is a 6-foot-8 right-hander with front-of-the-rotation potential. He has a deep, quality arsenal led by a mid-90s fastball and a pair of breaking balls, and he's shown impressive command given his profile. While many pitchers his size and age are still struggling to find the strike zone on a consistent basis, he averaged a walk every three innings across 18 starts (all but one occurring at Double-A) while adding muscle to his once-gangly frame. Pérez may make his debut sometime in 2023, though it should be noted that he's yet to clear the 100-inning threshold in a single season.
2. Max Meyer, RHP (2023 seasonal age: 21)
Meyer, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft by way of Minnesota, started twice in the majors last season before requiring Tommy John surgery in August. The usual recovery timetable stretches from 12 to 14 months, suggesting he could be sidelined until late in the 2023 campaign. When hearty and hale, Meyer relies heavily on two pitches: a mid-90s fastball and a swing-and-miss slider. Check back in a year, or perhaps even longer than that, to learn his fate.
3. Jake Eder, LHP (2023 seasonal age: 19)
Eder, Miami's fourth-round pick in 2020, did not pitch last season after undergoing his own Tommy John surgery the previous summer. He'd pitched better than his draft stock suggested in 2021, punching out 99 batters in 71 innings at Double-A on the strength of his fastball-slider pairing. Should Eder return to form quickly, he could make his big-league debut in 2023.