With no pressure, Jackson Chourio looks to reach his full potential in Milwaukee

With no pressure, Jackson Chourio looks to reach his full potential in Milwaukee
With no pressure, Jackson Chourio looks to reach his full potential in Milwaukee

MIAMI – In the era of MLB Pipeline and from exhaustive analysis of prospects, the expectations that several of the younger players have to deal with on their way to the Majors are becoming greater and greater.

Only in recent years have promises like Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bobby Witt Jr., Adley Rutschman, Jasson Domínguez, and more recently Jackson Holliday and Paul Skenes, have had to face that pressure.

Like Holliday and Skenes, the Brewers’ Venezuelan prospect, Jackson Chourio, also went through a similar process this year, after rising through the MLB Pipeline lists until he was considered the second best prospect in baseball heading into the start of the season. this campaign.

However, the 20-year-old patrolman has been able to navigate everything that comes with dealing with those factors.

“Look, at first yes [sentía un poco de presión], but now what I’m trying to do is just play. And that everything turns out as best as possible,” said the Maracaibo native. “The truth is that they are trusting me. I know what I can do. “The only thing left to do is play, have fun and demonstrate.”

And that is what Chourio’s brief time in the Majors sums up, after having a impressive debut during the Brewers’ Opening Day, being one of the youngest players (20 years and 18 days) to debut as the leadoff hitter for his team in the first game of the season.

With humility, Chourio is trying to have fun and savor each of the days he spends in the best baseball in the world, with the hunger to learn and improve, but without letting that pressure affect him.

But that doesn’t mean Chourio’s adaptation has been easy. Although Chourio had a great start at bat, the Venezuelan has been dealing with ups and downs since then.

After hitting .529/.305/.444 with a .750 OPS in his first 13 games, those numbers have fallen to .181/.230/.255 and a .485 OPS since then.

But again, the high expectations with which the sport’s most sought-after prospects have lately been arriving in the Major League do not always translate into immediate success. Except in exceptional cases, the usual thing for a promising young person is to go up a learning curve until they try to reach the top of their conditions.

And that’s where advanced metrics come into effect. Just because some traditional numbers don’t look very favorable for a player doesn’t mean he isn’t having an important impact on the field. This is something that especially applies to first-year players, when trying to analyze how he is translating his tools to the Major Leagues.

Chourio particularly stands out in three categories: Sprint speed and the values ​​to produce runs with his baserunning and defense.

In fact, the only hitters with arm and baserunning values ​​of 1.0, and having at least an 85th percentile in sprint speed in the Majors are Jarren Durán and Chourio – Baseball Savant rounds the values ​​to one of 0.85.

“What I try is to always learn something new,” Chourio said, about something he is currently working on. “I’m just playing. I’m enjoying it to the fullest. I am very lucky to be here. “I always try to have fun.”

Furthermore, the conditions are in place for the Brewers to let Chourio flourish in the player they have viewed since they signed him in January 2021 for US$1.8 million as an international free agent. Although it is very early in the season, Milwaukee has led the NL Central for much of the year, so there is no reason to put more pressure on Chourio.

But at some point they will. Every sought-after prospect faces a moment in which he or she must prove that he or she lives up to expectations. But that moment is not close for the Venezuelan, who is still among the best rookies in hits (31), home runs (5), RBIs (15) and stolen bases (6).

For now, Chourio is focused on letting his game flow and following the advice of more experienced players. That was the case with José Altuve, for example, who spoke with the rookie slugger recently in Houston.

“He told me that the game is the same, that I just have to relax and go out and enjoy,” Chourio mentioned about his conversation with Altuve. “She is a superstar. She makes me very happy to have had the opportunity to meet him and talk to him.”

Hopes around Chourio remain intact. The projections of what it can become remain the same. The metrics are supporting that concept. Yes, he still needs to work on several aspects of his game. He knows. But in the meantime, the 20-year-old Venezuelan is focused on enjoying playing in the Major Leagues.

 
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