Chourio clubs oppo homer off flamethrowing Joyce

May 13th, 2023

The matchup? Jackson Chourio vs. Ben Joyce -- 19-year-old phenom against a flamethrower who can touch 105 mph. The result? An opposite-field two-run homer off the bat of MLB’s No. 4 overall prospect.

The Brewers’ top prospect won this battle, turning on a 99 mph fastball and leaving the yard for the fourth time this season in Double-A Biloxi’s 7-0 victory over Rocket City on Friday night.

Chourio, the youngest player at the Double-A level, is off to something of a pedestrian start this season, hitting just three homers in his first 28 games. If there’s one thing the outfielder can rely on, though, it’s opportunities against righties, whom he’s batting .276 against this year.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Venezuela native stepped into the box against Joyce, the Angels’ 10th-ranked prospect and notorious flamethrower. A standout in his lone season for Tennessee in 2022, Joyce averaged 100 mph on his fastball for the Trash Pandas last year and is one of just one of two ranked prospects with an 80-grade fastball (the Guardians’ Daniel Espino and the Brewers' Abner Uribe are the others).

Chourio started the at-bat with a big cut and miss on an offering that dotted the inside corner, and Joyce tried to bait him there again two more times, but both pitches were off the plate and the righty slugger found himself ahead in the count 2-1.

On the next pitch, the righty Joyce pumped in a 99 mph fastball, but it got too much plate. Chourio put a violent hack on it and showed off his 60-grade power, muscling the ball over the wall in right field for an opposite-field tater. The teenager was all smiles as he crossed home plate and high-fived his teammates.

Chourio finished the night with two hits, collecting a single in the opening frame off righty Landon Marceaux and eventually coming around to score as the Shuckers put up a three-spot. It’s the fourth multihit game in his past 10 contests.

Through 29 games this year, Chourio is slashing .258/.300/.392 with eight extra-base hits, 20 RBIs and 10 steals.