Two HUGE debuts: Get to know Jackson Chourio and Wyatt Langford

March 27th, 2024

The start of a new season is always thrilling. This year, the arrival of two elite prospects to two contending franchises – including the reigning World Series champions – adds to the anticipation and intrigue even more.

In Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio (No. 2 per MLB Pipeline) and Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford (No. 6), two of the game’s top prospects made Opening Day rosters and will make their Major League debuts when their teams start their 2024 seasons. The 20-year-old Chourio and 22-year-old Langford both forced the issue with strong performances this spring, leaving little doubt that they were big league-ready despite their 21st Century birthdays.

Chourio will debut having played only six games at Triple-A, after reaching that level late last year and then signing a historic extension with Milwaukee over the winter. Langford only played five games at Triple-A … and 12 at Double-A … and a whopping 24 at High-A; he will debut in the Majors a little more than nine months after Texas selected him 4th overall in the 2023 Draft.

A year after four Top 10 prospects per MLB Pipeline debuted on Opening Day 2023, Chourio and Langford are the only two who will do so this time around. But both debuts will be singular achievements. No prospect has ever debuted backed by a bigger financial investment than Chourio, and Langford will be the fastest Top 5 Draft pick to reach the Majors since Ryan Zimmerman in 2005. Here is a closer look at the two new arrivals, and a recap of how they got here.

Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers
Overall prospect ranking: No. 2
Opening Day age: 20 years, 17 days
Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela

The eight-year, $82 million big league contract Chourio signed in December includes two club $25 million options that could keep him in Milwaukee through 2033 – and make the deal worth $140 million over the next 10 years. If that’s not investing in your prospects, nothing is. No team has ever guaranteed so much money to a player with zero Major League service time; Chourio’s deal with the Brewers far out-strips the six-year, $50 million pact Luis Robert Jr. inked with the White Sox in 2020.

Everything in Chourio’s development indicates he’s the right player to make that kind of history. Signed for $1.8 million as an international free agent in 2021, Chourio enjoyed an enormous breakout the following year and reached Double-A as an 18-year-old. He spent most of 2023 dominating at Double-A Biloxi, where he finished with 22 homers and 44 steals. He became only the fifth teenager to reach the 20-40 plateau in the Minors since 1958, and the first since Ronald Acuńa Jr. in 2017.

Given his pedigree and contract, Chourio might not have necessarily needed an enormous spring to break camp with the Brewers. He had a great camp anyway, batting .328/.381/.414 and starring in the inaugural Spring Breakout. He is a 70-grade runner with 65-grade power that Milwaukee ultimately decided is one of their top outfield options heading into 2024 – and the likely face of the franchise going forward.

Wyatt Langford, OF, Rangers
Overall prospect ranking: No. 6
Opening Day age: 22 years, 134 days
Hometown: Gainesville, Fla.

In 2023, the Rangers saw the value in summoning a young but immensely talented outfielder in Evan Carter (still the game’s No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline) – and then watched that decision pay off all the way through October en route to their first championship. It’s not the same exact situation this year with Langford, but it’s close. Adding Langford to the mix not only makes Texas the only team with two Top 10 prospects – it gives them two Top 10 prospects in the Majors to start the season.

To get there, Langford completed one of the faster ascensions for a position player in recent memory. At this time last year, he was hardly halfway through his junior season at the University of Florida, where he had one of the best offensive seasons in the country and led the Gators to the College World Series. He signed for a Rangers-record $8 million as the No. 4 overall pick in June, and hit .360/.480/.677 with 10 homers and more walks than strikeouts in his first 44 Minor League games.

Langford then had a gargantuan camp, hitting .377 with six homers and a Cactus League-leading 1.188 OPS across 18 spring games to win a big league roster spot. He will be Texas’ regular designated hitter and also mix into the outfield rotation alongside Carter for the defending champs.

He is there because of his bat. An extremely strong right-handed hitter, Langford is considered the total package at the plate and possesses plus-plus power to all fields. The Rangers provided the opportunity by not adding much to their offense in free agency, and Langford ran with that opportunity right to the big league roster.

“I don’t think we were hoping, I think we knew,” manager Bruce Bochy told’s Kennedi Landry last week. “I don’t know if there was any doubt in his mind – I’m sure there was – but he’s with us. He’s earned it. It’s well deserved when you look at the spring he’s had. I know we’ve talked about and we kind of joked about him not being here at times, but [he] definitely deserves to be here.”