Top prospect Chourio's meteoric rise not over yet

February 20th, 2024

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PHOENIX -- The numbers still do not define . Not at all.

The $82 million contract that Chourio signed in December, an industry record for a player with no Major League experience, doesn’t define him. The nondescript Minor League jersey with No. 94 on the back that hangs in front of his locker each morning in camp doesn’t define him, either.

The game’s No. 2 prospect has other things on his mind. He wants to break Spring Training with the big league club.

“My number one goal is to start the season in The Show,” Chourio said in Spanish. “I’m going to do my best and show who I am. That’s all that matters.”

Chourio will stick with jersey No. 94 until further notice. New Brewers manager Pat Murphy told the prospect back in December that he would have to earn jersey No. 11, and the skipper is keeping his word.

“I don’t even know how much money he got. I can sit here honestly, and on my children’s health tell you I have no idea how much money he got,” Murphy said. “I’ve heard some numbers out there, but I really would not be able to tell you how much money and I don’t care. I know that he’s one of the best guys in the room and he’s going to help us win. That’s the truth. I’m pulling for him.”

Chourio did get a glimpse into his future when he put on a Brewers big league jersey with his last name and No. 11 across the back for a team promotional shoot Monday. He returned to No. 94 when the shoot was over, and that’s what he will wear until Murphy deems otherwise.

“I don’t care what number he wears in Triple-A or Double-A. I’m not concerned about his number,” Murphy said. “I’m concerned that he understands that he has to play good, and I think he will. But he’s got to play good.”

Chourio, who signed during the international signing period in 2021 for $1.8 million, is up for the challenge. He was originally a shortstop but has been a full-time outfielder since 2022. He starred on the mound as a youth, and later emerged as a bonafide prospect when he switched positions. He eventually chose the Brewers over the Padres, Phillies, Dodgers, Rays and Yankees and even turned down more money from those teams to sign with Milwaukee because of the way the club treated him and his family throughout the amateur evaluation process.

The teen’s meteoric rise through Milwaukee’s Minor League system is not lost on him. He also knows there is still a lot of work to do.

“I’m just grateful for all of the support the Brewers have given me from the very beginning,” Chourio said in Spanish. “Many people have helped me get here starting with my family.”

Jackson and Jaison Chourio

We all know about Jaison Chourio, Jackson’s younger brother and Cleveland’s No. 8 prospect. But everyone should also keep an eye out for their youngest brother, Jame Chourio, a 6-foot (and growing), 160-pound left-handed-hitting catcher who will be eligible to sign in a few years.

Jame is 13.

“I’m doing it for them as much as I am for myself,” Chourio said in Spanish. “I want to be an example and a role model. It’s a responsibility that I have to be a good player and a good brother.”

Jame Chourio and his mother

While they are not technically related, Jackson also considers Ethan Salas, San Diego’s No. 1 prospect, a brother, too. The pair shares an agent in Cesar Suarez and played on the same team as young teens back home in Venezuela.

“What can I say about Ethan?” Chourio said. “He’s going to be a superstar. Great guy. Great player. He’s a little younger, but he always played with older kids because he was so good.”

Sound familiar? Jackson Chourio turns 20 on March 11.