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 Chicago White Sox.

1. Colson Montgomery, SS (22 years old)

  • Top 25 ranking: No. 11
  • The short version: Sweet-swinging lefty shortstop had injuries delay debut.
  • MLB ETA: Spring 2024

Montgomery was sidelined by back and oblique issues until June, delaying his big-league arrival until the upcoming season. He still made his way to Double-A, where he batted .244/.400/.428 in 37 contests -- not his usual triple-slash excellence, but understandable given the layoff. Montgomery has long inspired comparisons to Corey Seager. While those arise at least in part from superficial reasons -- they have similar builds and facial structures -- Montgomery's feel for hitting and budding strength suggest he could become a plus bat. He should slot in sometime in 2024 as the White Sox's successor to Tim Anderson.

2. Noah Schultz, LHP (20 years old)

  • The short version: Blossoming lefty derailed by shoulder issues.
  • MLB ETA: Summer 2026

The White Sox selected Schultz with the 26th pick in the 2022 draft on the strength of his projectable frame and deceptive arm slot. He pitched well in his first 10 professional appearances last season, amassing a 1.33 ERA and averaging nearly 13 strikeouts per nine innings. Alas, Schultz was shut down by a left shoulder impingement in August and did not return. It's to be seen if and how he'll be affected moving forward, but in theory there's a lot to like about a lefty who can throw strikes and generate ground balls.

3. Edgar Quero, C (20 years old)

  • The short version: Young, switch-hitting backstop with Double-A success under belt.
  • MLB ETA: Late summer 2024

Quero, the headline of the return on Lucas Giolito, spent his age-20 season in Double-A, where he was an above-average producer. That bodes well for his future prospects. Quero's game is slanted toward his bat, though he's likely to remain playable behind the plate. Offensively, Quero showed a good feel for working counts and making contact. He'll need to lift the ball more as he matures if he's going to slug at average or better clips. While young catchers are notoriously prone to attrition, we do think it's fair to bet on him becoming at least a backup-level contributor given his track record to date.