Major League Baseball’s offseason is underway, and that means everyone is thinking about the future. In most cities, that means next season; in some, though, it means the bigger picture, the next three to five years. You’re either selling wins or you’re selling hope, the old saying goes. We here at CBS Sports like to provide as much hope as we can around this time of the winter by evaluating each team’s farm system.
Of course, that doesn’t mean every team has an equally good farm system — some, as you’ll find out throughout this process, are lacking in that respect. It does mean, nevertheless, that CBS Sports will be spending the next couple of months examining the top three prospects in each organization. We define “prospects” as retaining their rookie eligibility for the 2024 season, so if a young player is missing that’s likely why.
These lists and evaluations are formed following conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development types. There’s also firsthand evaluation and bias thrown into the mix. Keep in mind that player evaluation is a hard task, and it’s fine if you disagree with the rankings. These are opinions, and they have no real bearing on the future. You can check out our winter top 25 list by clicking here.
With that in mind, let’s get to it by dissecting the Milwaukee Brewers.
1. Jackson Chourio, CF (20 years old)
- Top-25 ranking: No. 7
- The short version: Legit center fielder with big-time homer-steal potential.
- MLB ETA: Summer 2024
Chourio, the breakout star of the 2022 minor-league season, is a dynamic talent. He’s the rare player who can launch opposite-field home runs with regularity, as well as put infielders in a blender on would-be routine grounders. (There was a game in late April against the Angels‘ Double-A affiliate where he recorded infield singles to the shortstop and the third baseman in consecutive frames.) Some evaluators have expressed hit-tool concerns generated by his aggressive approach. It’s a fair consideration, but Chourio — who signed an $82 million deal in December — has earned the benefit of the doubt by holding his own in the upper minors at such a young age. If everything clicks, he’ll provide the Brewers with their fifth 30/30 season. And their sixth, their seventh, their eighth, and so on.
2. Jeferson Quero, C (21 years old)
- The short version: Quality two-way backstop nearing debut.
- MLB ETA: Spring 2025
Quero is, foremost, a good defensive backstop with field general qualities and a big arm that should come in this new era where base stealing is again incentivized. He also projects to be an average or better hitter, having more than held his own throughout his professional journeys. That includes last season, when, at age-20, he performed 7% better than average in Double-A. The Brewers have no reason to rush Quero to the majors, not with William Contreras in tow, suggesting he might have to wait another year to debut.
3. Jacob Misiorowski, RHP (21 years old)
- The short version: Massive potential thanks to standout fastball and slider, but command could send him to the bullpen.
- MLB ETA: Summer 2024
Misiorowski became the highest drafted player from Crowder College (Missouri) in decades when the Brewers popped him 63rd in 2022. He validated the selection last season, his first full effort as a professional, by striking out more than a third of the batters he faced across 71 innings and three levels. Misiorowski has a stellar one-two punch with a hot, rising fastball and a low-90s slider that serves as his main secondary pitch. His biggest hurdle to becoming at least a mid-rotation starter is going to be his command, as he walked more than 13% of the batters he faced. Misiorowski’s arm action and release point may remind you of Red Sox right-hander Tanner Houck. The Brewers can only hope that he can also mimic Houck’s walk rate — 3.3 per nine innings for the duration of his big-league career. If so, Misiorowski could become the next great Brewers right-handed starter.