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Highly Touted Rookie Has Shown Steady Growth For Brewers

Highly touted rookie sensation Jackson Chourio has shown steady growth and progression during his short time with the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

The former top prospect (and No. 2 in Major League Baseball) signed a highly-publicized eight-year, $82 million contract extension during the offseason and continues to play a critical supporting role in the team’s surprising early-season success. It’s been a staggering accomplishment, considering he never competed at the major league level prior to taking the field this year. With a youthful exuberance and positive attitude, the 20-year-old has helped power the first-place Brewers to a 40-28 record (.588 winning percentage).

Jackson Chourio Has Shown Steady Progression This Season

Highly-Touted Rookie Playing Critical Role In Team’s Success

It’s been an exhilarating, early-season rollercoaster ride for Chourio, who has gained valuable experience over the first 2 1/2 months of the season. As with any young player attempting to perform under the glaring spotlight, there have been stretches of both brilliance and frustration. For the team’s high-energy starting right fielder, becoming a reliable, complete player has been a gradual, patient, learning process. Chourio is the sixth youngest player in team history. He joins the ranks of one-time youngsters Robin Yount, Ed Romero, Darrell Porter, Gary Sheffield, and Kevin Kobel.

Chourio has flashed his potential at times, offering a reminder that the future remains bright for the franchise moving forward. Following a memorable hot start, he went through a humbling, slow stretch where he was temporarily benched. The wake-up call was well served, eventually leading to a successful return to the lineup.  He currently maintains a .222 batting average highlighted by 42 hits with seven home runs, five doubles, 22 RBI, and seven stolen bases while seeing action in 60 of the team’s first 68 games.

With improved plate discipline, the determined rookie has experienced the most success versus the fastball this season. He has generated 15 singles, five doubles, and a homer off fastballs, according to Baseball Savant.

Former Top Prospect Making Strides

Brewers associate manager Rickie Weeks, a former top prospect, was quick to point out that Chourio has made great strides. “Jackson’s 20 years old, which is kind of crazy to even think about,” said Weeks in an interview with Adam McCalvy of “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.”

Reminiscent of Yount, a Brewers legend and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee who ironically made his MLB debut 50 years ago, Chourio has remained a diligent student of the game. That unselfishness and willingness to learn have notably helped accelerate his transition from the minors.

The 6-foot, 198-pound rookie has shined in the outfield in starting 51 games. He has registered 107 putouts and an assist in playing an error-free 451 full innings. With the speed, range, and versatility to play all three positions, it has provided valuable depth to help offset several key early-season injuries.

Highly-Touted Rookie Striving For Excellence

Chourio hit his first major league homer in the Brewers’ 7-3 home loss to the Minnesota Twins on April 3. In turn, he became the youngest Milwaukee player to homer since Sheffield in 1988. With 10 multi-hit games already to his credit in his debut season and a prestigious starting role in the lineup, the sky appears to be the limit. Only time and experience will dictate whether he can live up to the lofty expectations. So far, Jackson Chourio’s progression this season looks very promising.


Photo Credit: © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports


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