Thursday, April 4, 2024

Pre-Paid Planning Pays Off


Not quite the Jackson people thought would be making waves this April, but I bet the Brewers are grateful. 

Jackson Chourio already raised a lot of eyebrows this spring, just by signing a massive contract with a team he'd never even played an MLB game for. To be fair, extensions for rookies aren't exactly unheard of, the Phillies did one for Scott Kingery several years back, but the thing you need to reconcile is how much of a can't miss prospect's fate is up to absolute chance. Somebody can have a great career or a lousy one, and if they have a lousy one and you still have to pay for another 4 years of them, as Philly found out with Kingery and Boston found out with Rusney Castillo, you kind of just have to eat it and hope you don't make the same mistake again. 

This season alone, contracts have been given to both Jackson Chourio and Yoshinobu Yamamoto before they've played a game in the majors. Granted, at least Yamamoto had some Japan league stats to go by. Chourio's 20 years old. First ever MLBer born in 2004. All the Brewers had to go by were some minor league stats, as good as they are. And, to their credit, Chourio has been fantastic so far this year, hitting .350 with 6 hits, 4 RBIs and, as of yesterday, his first MLB home run. So far, that gamble has worked out, but it remains to be seen how long he'll be able to keep it up.

At the same time, Oliver Dunn got called up as a corner option. Much lower risk rookie, but someone they value enough to give a shot at third over Burnes deal survivor Joey Ortiz. Dunn's hit pretty well so far, though he's beginning to strike out a lot more than he should. I think he's having the more understandable rookie path, especially considering Wiemer and Turang's slow starts last year, but it's cool to have both the reasonable rookie path and the phenom rookie path at the same time. And considering that Brice Turang's been hitting well so far, maybe a year to figure it out isn't the worst thing for someone like Dunn. 

The Brewers look pretty good so far. There's a lot of cool new pieces, like Rhys Hoskins and Joe Ross, that are meshing well with the team, and pieces in bigger roles, like Abner Uribe and Freddy Peralta, who are rewarding the team's trust. It'll be interesting if Chourio continues to be a force throughout the whole year, and what that could mean for a division that's already looking pretty tough to call.

Coming Tomorrow- The Twins, at nearly the last moment, flipped one of their longest tenured stars. So far he's been fitting in fine with his new team. 

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