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Major League Baseball's spring training 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 Dodgers.

1. Dalton Rushing, C (23 years old)

  • The short version: Walks, pop, and solid catcher defense. What more could you want?
  • MLB ETA: Spring 2025

The Dodgers have had a lot of success over the past decade selecting players from Louisville. That's where they plucked Will Smith and Bobby Miller from, and that's where they also found Rushing, the 40th pick in the 2022 draft. We can assure you, he would go much higher in a redraft. Rushing combines a mature approach at the plate with good left-handed thump. He didn't hit for much average in High-A, but there are no underlying red flags on that front beyond his pull-happy tendencies. The Dodgers have given Rushing some time at first base, but he's adequate behind the dish and he should be able to serve as an offensive-minded starting catcher someday soon.

2. Nick Frasso, RHP (25 years old)

  • The short version: Starter's stuff and command held back by durability woes.
  • MLB ETA: Spring 2024

(Note: Frasso underwent shoulder surgery in November and is expected to miss the entire season as a result.) Frasso was part of the return the Dodgers fetched from the Blue Jays for Mitch White back in August 2022. (Remember that one? Hopefully not.) He's long and lean and funky, complete with some Dustin May-like pirouette on his follow through. Frasso has a starter's arsenal, including a sinker that can get into the upper 90s and the Dodgers' patented sweeper, and good control. Given that he's already 25, it would be fair to wonder why the Dodgers haven't dropped him into their rotation. The answer is durability. He barely pitched in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic and elbow surgery. He's since thrown just shy of 150 innings, setting a new career-high with 93 frames. Provided Frasso stays healthy, he's certain to debut sometime early in the year. The question here isn't if he can contribute in a meaningful way, it's more whether his body will enable him to do so as a starter or if he'll need to convert to relief.

3. Thayron Liranzo, C (20 years old)

  • The short version: Young, switch-hitting catcher with big power.
  • MLB ETA: Spring 2026

As a general rule of thumb, if you're a switch-hitting backstop with big power and an understanding of the strike zone, you're going to find your way onto prospect lists. Liranzo is proof. Last season, he launched 24 home runs as a teenager in the Cal League, where the average competition was more than two years his senior. Liranzo is so strong that he's shown opposite-field power from both sides of the plate. The negative here is that he is extremely pull-happy, yanking more than half of his batted balls to that side, and that he's not the safest bet to remain behind the dish. That last part might not matter much anyway, considering the Dodgers have Will Smith in place and the aforementioned Dalton Rushing on the way. Even so, Liranzo is the rare young catching prospect who could move to another position -- like, say, first base -- without diminishing his chances of enjoying a legitimate bg-league career. That's how promising his bat appears at this stage in his development.