Where Chourio stands after graduation from prospect

May 14th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Adam McCalvy’s Brewers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

MILWAUKEE -- MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list has a new look this week.

You’ll no longer find ’s name near the top.

The 20-year-old, who had been MLB’s No. 2 overall prospect since the middle of last year, logged his 45th day of Major League service on Sunday and graduated from Pipeline prospect status. That doesn’t mean he’s a finished product, though. After a hot start, Choruio began to look the part of the youngest player in MLB, and he has seen his playing time wane recently.

“Jackson’s going to be fine. He’s going to be a good player,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said going into this version of graduation weekend. “The breather we’re giving him here is an indication of, like, perspective, things like that. It’s about the Brewers first, not about Jackson Chourio. Jackson is a big part of this, and this little period of not playing will be beneficial.”

Chourio’s season started smoothly, with at least one hit in nine of his first 10 career MLB games and a respectable .326 on-base percentage in that span.

Then it got tougher. During the 19 games from April 16-May 7, Chourio reached base at a .233 clip and found himself out of the lineup last Wednesday in Kansas City. That began what the Brewers hope was a mental reset.

“He’s 20 years old, which is kind of crazy to even think about,” said Brewers associate manager Rickie Weeks, himself a former top prospect. “He’s young. He’s progressing. He’s making a good turn right now, even if the results aren’t showing it yet. The most important thing that I’ve noticed is he hasn’t let the failures affect how he comes to the ballpark every day. That is by far the No. 1 thing.

“And there’s another thing, too: It’s not fake. Some guys come in putting on a persona. This is real. You saw it the other day -- he hit a line drive and the shortstop caught it. Jackson was pissed. I like that. It’s not like, ‘Aw, here we go again.’ The fact he was pissed tells me he cares.”

Christian Yelich has been watching Chourio’s first weeks in the Major Leagues intently. Yelich ranked at No. 13 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list going into 2013, when he made his debut with nothing resembling the attention that now accompanies current top prospects such as Chourio, the Orioles’ Jackson Holliday and the Pirates’ Paul Skenes, whose arrival last weekend was a bona fide event.

“It’s what you do after [the prospect hype] that matters,” Yelich said. “Your prospect status will get you a chance to play here, but what you do with that opportunity depends on you. There’s nothing that replicates this level. It’s the competition, it’s the scouting reports, it’s the physical and mental pressure. It’s learning how to deal with life. It’s a lot.

“Everybody figures it out at their own pace. I think [Chourio has] done fine. He’s such a young kid yet, he’s got such a long way to go in his career. I think he’s a really good kid and I’ve enjoyed being around him. He’s always happy. I know he’s had some tough stretches here to start, but that’s not all that unexpected.”

Said Brewers hitting coach Connor Dawson: “From our end, nothing has changed in how we’re progressing with him. Get out there, get at-bats, take each pitch for what it’s worth”

Dawson’s favorite Chourio moment so far came during this tough stretch. It was May 3 at Wrigley Field, when Chourio found himself in the rare -- for a kid who has been the best player on every team he’s ever played on -- position of pinch-hitting. Chourio stroked a single that started a winning rally.

Looking back, maybe that will prove a big moment in his development.

“I think he’s been better lately about having a better approach to be ready to go,” Dawson said.

With Chourio graduated, MLB Pipeline’s new top Brewers prospect is right-hander Jacob Misiorowski (No. 24).

Triple-A Nashville: After going 5-for-22 with the Brewers in his first stint in the Majors, No. 3 prospect Tyler Black tallied multiple hits in his first two games back wtih the Sounds.

“He’s been on the radar a long time and did some good things,” Murphy said. “But with Yelich coming back -- and we’ve got [Jake] Bauers and [Rhys] Hoskins playing first base -- we think that’s [Black’s] best position. If he was ready, that would have made our choice tough. But he’s not quite ready. So, put him down there, and now he has this experience to draw on. I think he’ll be good next time he comes back. He’s a really important part of our organization.”

Double-A Biloxi: Mike Boeve (Brewers' No. 13 prospect) slashed .449/.556/.623 with six doubles, three triples, nine RBIs, 12 runs scored and 18 walks in 21 games between High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi in April to win the organization’s Minor League Player of the Month Award. Last year’s second-round Draft pick led the Minor Leagues in batting average in April and ranked among leaders in on-base percentage (second), hits (tied for fourth, 31) and OPS (fifth, 1.179).

High-A Wisconsin: Second baseman Dylan O'Rae (Brewers' No. 20 prospect) reached safely three times in Wisconsin's 6-3 win over Quad Cities on Sunday to extend his on-base streak to 13 games. During that stretch, O'Rae is batting .289/.458/.467 with five extra-base hits, 12 runs scored, 11 walks and eight stolen bases for the Timber Rattlers. O'Rae leads the Midwest League with 17 stolen bases.

Single-A Carolina: Right-hander Yujanyer Herrera was named Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April after going 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 17 innings for Carolina. The 20-year-old held opponents to a .175 average. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2019, Herrera was promoted from Carolina to Wisconsin on April 30 and had a banner debut, allowing no baserunners and striking out six over three scoreless innings against Great Lakes on May 2.