Chourio, Black headline 2023 Robin Yount Performance Awards

No. 5 prospect Gasser, No. 6 Rodriguez share Brewers' organizational pitching honors

September 27th, 2023

MILWAUKEE -- Jackson Chourio didn’t exactly channel his inner Ryan Braun, who thought he was ready for the big leagues from the moment he was drafted, but the Brewers’ best prospect since Braun left little doubt where his confidence lies.

After finishing the Minor League season a step away from Milwaukee at Triple-A Nashville, does the 19-year-old Chourio feel ready?

“I mean, obviously, I think so,” Chourio said. “But no matter what I do, I’m going to continue to work hard and improve. I’m going to play hard whether I’m here or in Triple-A.”

Chourio, an outfielder who is Milwaukee’s highest-ranked prospect ever at No. 2 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, was named one of the Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year Award winners for the second straight season.

After making an informal visit to American Family Field last year while he was playing for High-A Wisconsin, Chourio was given a more formal welcome on Tuesday as the Major League club tried to clinch the National League Central title.

Chourio arrived with co-Minor League player of the year Tyler Black (Brewers’ No. 4 prospect), a corner infielder who also has a chance to break into the big leagues in 2024. Ditto for the club’s co-Minor League pitchers of the year, left-hander Robert Gasser (No. 5 prospect) and right-hander Carlos F. Rodriguez (No. 6 prospect).

“Every moment when you see him, it’s like, you’ve got to watch him, because you never know what he’s going to do,” Rodriguez said of Chourio, his Double-A Biloxi teammate for most of the season. “He’s a really fun player to watch. It’s really entertaining stuff.”

Is there one moment that stands out?

“All of you have seen the videos, whenever he gets a walk-off [hit], he does the little step back jump across home plate,” Rodriguez said. “Stuff like that is awesome to me.”

Chourio, the first teenager to post a 20-homer, 20-steal season at Double-A since Delmon Young in 2005, slashed .282/.338/.467 with 26 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 91 RBIs and 44 stolen bases over 128 games between Biloxi (122 games) and Nashville (six games).

He shared player of the year honors with Black, who led all of Minor League Baseball in triples (12) and led Milwaukee’s organization in runs scored (105), stolen bases (55) and extra-base hits (55), while ranking among the organizational leaders in OPS (second, .930), hits (second, 128), walks (second, 88), total bases (second, 231), slugging percentage (third, .513), RBIs (fourth, 73), home runs (fifth, 18), on-base percentage (fifth, .417) and doubles (sixth, 25).

“The main part is that he plays hard no matter what,” Chourio said.

And what does Black like about Chourio?

“He’s obviously an electric player who can change the game at any point,” Black said. “I think the biggest thing is he brings a joy to the field every day.”

Chourio is the first player in franchise history to earn Minor League Player of the Year honors twice. Rodríguez, who also was the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2022, joins Ben Hendrickson (2002, ’04) as the only pitchers to win multiple times.

The Brewers began naming such awards in 1999.

Rodríguez was 9-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 25 starts at Biloxi and one at Nashville in the final week. He has the lowest opponents’ batting average in the organization (.187), was second in ERA and third in strikeouts (158) and WHIP (1.12).

Gasser came to Milwaukee last season in the Josh Hader trade. He spent the full season in Triple-A and led that level with 166 strikeouts, while going 9-1 with a 3.76 ERA.