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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 Philadelphia Phillies.

1. Andrew Painter, RHP (20 years old)

  • Top-25 ranking: No. 25
  • The short version: Promising right-hander slowed by elbow surgery.
  • MLB ETA: Spring 2025

Painter did not pitch last season after suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the spring. He put off Tommy John surgery until late July, putting his 2024 campaign in doubt as well. (Teams tend to allow their pitchers 14 months to recover, which would see him return in late September.) We think enough of Painter's upside to include him anyway.

2. Mick Abel, RHP (22 years old)

  • The short version: Barreling toward MLB debut despite command issues.
  • MLB ETA: Summer 2024

Abel is a physical right-hander who should make his debut sometime next season. The biggest issue holding him back has been his command, a blemish that last season resulted in more than five walks per nine innings. Abel has some red flags for command projection, including a high back elbow that causes his arm to drag at foot strike. As such, it's unclear that he's ever going to approach average command. Abel has high-quality stuff, giving him a shot at a meaningful career all the same, even if his sloppy geography prevents him from becoming a frontline starter.

3. Aidan Miller, 3B (19 years old)

  • The short version: Big-time power potential from a future corner bat.
  • MLB ETA: Late 2027

Miller, the 27th pick last summer, was the top prep corner-infield bat in the class. Though he's remained at shortstop to begin his professional career, scouts expect him to slide to his right and man the hot corner in due time. Miller will make his money with his bat. He has the kind of well-above-average strength that could eventually land him in the middle of the lineup, even if it didn't show up in his introduction to pro ball. Miller does have a hitch in his swing that could impact his chances of hitting for a high average. That, in turn, may put more pressure on his power playing up.