Jackson Chourio’s meteoric rise continues.
Having rocketed up the charts to become the Milwaukee Brewers’ No. 1 prospect earlier in the season, the 18-year-old on Monday was named the No. 2 prospect (subscription required) in all of minor-league baseball by Baseball America.
He was rated 36th overall by MLB.com last month as the youngest player on that list and is ranked third overall by The Athletic.
Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson is ranked as the top overall prospect by Baseball America.
Unlike Henderson — a second-round pick in 2019 out of Auburn University — Chourio has developed into one of the game’s brightest young stars in relative anonymity as an international free-agent signee out of Maracaibo, Venezuela, at the age of 16.
But the reported $1.9 million signing bonus the Brewers gave Chourio underscored the belief the organization had in him.
Chourio’s first professional experience came last season, when he hit .296 with five home runs and 25 runs batted in over 45 games for one of Milwaukee’s entries in the Dominican Summer League.
He began this season as a player to watch but without much fanfare considering he was playing alongside more touted prospects like outfielder Hedbert Pérez, catcher Jeferson Quero and right-hander Abner Uribe at Class A Carolina.
The fact he skipped the Arizona Complex League completely — normally the next step prior to full-season affiliates — was notable.
Chourio excelled for the Mudcats, hitting .324 with 12 homers and 47 RBI to go with a .973 OPS in 62 games — a performance that helped earn him a spot in Major League Baseball’s Futures Game, an annual event that precedes the MLB All- Star Game.
He was the youngest player to take part in that, and is now the youngest player at the advanced Class A level after being promoted to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
In his first 12 games, Chourio is batting .275/1/5/.737.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Chourio in its top 100 writeup:
“The 18-year-old Venezuelan has been the breakout player of the minors, reaching High-A Wisconsin at an age when his peers are still in the Rookie-level complex leagues. With advanced hitting ability, explosive power, plus-plus speed and highlight-reel defense in center field, he has the tools to be a future superstar.”
Baseball America’s latest rankings, which also include last month’s draft, have only one other Brewers prospect in its top 100 — outfielder Sal Frelick, who checks in at No. 75.