Jackson Chourio is a supernova among the prospect universe. He signed with the Brewers out of Venezuela as part of the 2020-21 international signing class, at the time Baseball America had him as a top 15 prospect in the class. He reportedly dominated extended spring training in 2021, but the Brewers sent the then 17-year old to the Dominican Summer League where he excelled (131 wRC+) despite a slow start. Fast forward to extended spring training in 2022 and Chourio once again absolutely dominated his competition including four home runs in his first five games. This time the Brewers got more aggressive with his promotion, sending him to Single-A in Carolina just two months after he’d turned 18-years old. He was the youngest player in full season ball, and the only player born in 2004 above complex league baseball as of June 2022. Chourio’s debut in the Carolina League didn’t disappoint as he put up offensive numbers at such a young age (18) on par with only a handful of eventual elite level major leaguers.
The 6-foot-1 Chourio is an explosive athlete who possesses lightning quick bat speed. Chourio has a mature hitting approach for his age including an impressive ability to recognize pitches and manage at bats. Scouts and coaches have mentioned being most impressed by Chourio’s knowledge of the strike zone and his ability to lay off bad pitches at such a young age. His loose swing allows him to get to balls up and down the strike zone. He has a truly innate ability to square up the baseball. Despite a wiry frame Chourio carries enough physical projection to develop plus power. We’ve already seen glimpses of that power although some of it hasn’t translated into home runs because he’s been peppering line drive doubles and triples off the high outfield walls in Carolina. Chourio reportedly has an average exit velocity around 90-mph which is above the 90th percentile of Single-A hitters and a hard-hit rate (> 95-mph) of 45% which is in the 95th percentile. His early batted ball data has been praised by several prospect evaluators with access to it (data isn’t publicly available), including a max exit velocity of 110-mph. Chourio is a bit of a bucket stepper, but he maintains exceptional barrel control throughout the zone. More recently Chourio has seen his strike out rate climb near 30% and his contact rate shrink to around 65%, but that is a common issue for a hitter that is so tooled up and learning to harness elite bat speed against professional pitching for the first time. Many evaluators don’t consider his early swing-and-miss to be worth reading too much into given the overall profile.
Chourio originally signed as a shortstop, but has played almost exclusively in center field as a professional (he did start a few games in 2021 at second base). Chourio has plus speed allowing him to glide around the bases and throughout the outfield. He possesses attributes that indicate he could develop into an impact defender. The one knock keeping Chourio from being considered a true 5-tool player is fringy arm strength, but ultimately that’s much less of a liability in center field.
It’s difficult to temper excitement when pondering Chourio’s future, especially given his tools and athleticism. It’s a rarity to witness a teenage hitter that’s able to combine elite bat speed with such impressive barrel accuracy. He already generates substantial power and he hasn’t even fully developed his projectable, athletic frame. He’s a power-speed threat likely to stick at a premium up-the-middle position in center field. The overall skills and early statistical success Chourio has shown hint at a future superstar in the making. Some scouts have even whispered Ronald Acuña Jr. comps. While that’s a lofty [and maybe unrealistic] expectation to put on a hitter with less than 500 professional plate appearances, it’s undeniable that Chourio possesses abilities far advanced from those of his peers.