Brewers outfielder Jackson Chorio is on his way to becoming the face of the franchise – Sports News (Trending Perfect)


One of the biggest storylines in baseball this season is a loaded rookie class. In a group with enormous talent, the youngest player among them can become the best in the group.

In the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela — which has produced several great players, including Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio — the Milwaukee Brewers found a lanky young player named Jackson Chorio. Although the 20-year-old is only nine games into his major league career, the Brewers believe he will one day be the face of their franchise.

“Something told me this was going to be a special kid,” Brewers field coordinator Nestor Corridor, who met Chorio when he was 17, told Yahoo Sports. “The way he approaches the game, the way he takes care of things, the way the ball hits the racket — there's something special that comes out.”

The Brewers signed Chourio out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old in 2021, and he wasted no time showing what he can do with the diamond. After arriving in the United States, Corio came through the Milwaukee system and was not only the youngest player at each level, but also the best.

In three seasons in the minors, Corio slashed .286/.347/.490 while displaying an elite combination of power and speed and becoming a true five-tool player. Since his professional career began in 21, he has gone from a relative unknown to the top of every prospect list in the game. He is currently considered the No. 2 shortstop in all of baseball, behind only the Orioles' Jackson Holiday, who will make his big-league debut on Wednesday.

Last winter, Milwaukee signed Chorio to an eight-year, $82 million contract, the largest contract ever signed before a player made his MLB debut. With the expansion monster completed, the expectation was that the Brewers would make the team out of spring training.

“I'm very honored to be here in Milwaukee and have the organization trust me,” Chorio told Yahoo Sports this spring. “I'm ready to put on a show for the big leagues and all the fans who couldn't see me play.”

But as new Brewers manager Pat Murphy emphasized throughout camp, nothing will be given to the young outfielder. There won't be any shortcuts.

“I don't think going easy on him is the right way to go,” Murphy said. “Love is the way. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. …And I think we are.” [have told] Him, like, “Dude, this is your way.” But we have to be there for him because it's hard to get around.

“I wanted to do everything I could to make this team,” Corio said. “I think the biggest thing I tried to do over the winter was improve my body and get ready for a full season here. I wanted to be ready.”

Milwaukee clearly thought so, when he parted ways with the big league club as the team's right fielder on Opening Day. In his debut against the Mets, Chourio went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base. Through nine games this season, he batted .278 with two home runs and seven RBI.

Corridor, who joined the Brewers' major league coaching staff in 2021, is also from Venezuela and managed Correo last season in the Venezuelan Winter League. Through that experience, the two built a relationship, with Corridor trying to serve as a sounding board for his countryman while Chorio prepared for his first major league season.

“I knew his abilities as a player, but when it came to the personal aspect, I paid more attention because I knew the club would be looking for feedback,” Corridor said of their time together in Venezuela. “And it was that laugh, that free play, that energy that he brings to the dugout and the clubhouse — he's always talking, always laughing. He's a funny kid. He has a lot of things that make people want to be around him.”

Choryu's abilities are undeniable to anyone who watches him. But even the best players in the game are not exempt from the pressures and expectations imposed by the major leagues. This is especially true for a player who was a teenager a month ago.

“We had a lot of conversations over the winter. We had a lot of conversations after he signed the extension,” Corridor said. “Spring training was challenging for him, no doubt. He came out to spring training with the extension, and he thought he had a lot to prove to people. I saw some mistakes on the field and he struggled to play, but then he started to play more fluidly.

“He realized that he didn't have to impress people. He just had to be himself. And now we're seeing that. I think in the future, when he understands big-league life, he'll be better than he already is.”

There is no doubt that the Brewers understand the type of talent Chorio possesses; That's why they've invested so much in it already. But at the end of the day, he's still the youngest player in MLB, and there's still a learning curve ahead. Before becoming the All-Star talents we see today, players like Austin Riley, Marcus Semien, Aaron Judge, and even Mike Trout went through ups and downs after their early call-ups to the big leagues.

For Chorio, being so young gives him time to grow into that final product, and along the way, the Brewers, especially shortstop Willie Adams, are doing everything they can to help him feel supported.

“Everyone on the team was really helpful, but Willie helped me and took me under his wing,” Chorio said. “Lots of advice. This year, our lockers are next to each other, so it gives us a chance to talk more and pick his brain every day. It's been very helpful.”

Murphy added, “Encouragement always works. I think that's the key. That's what Jackson believes when we tell him, 'Hey, we believe in you, man.' We really do, and we're here for you.”



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