MLB surprisingly rules Brewers top prospect Jackson Chourio ineligible for PPI

The Brewers can not receive any draft pick rewards for having Jackson Chourio on their Opening Day roster
Mar 14, 2024; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Jackson Chourio (11) bats
Mar 14, 2024; Peoria, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Jackson Chourio (11) bats / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers, as a small market franchise, often times try to capitalize on signing promising players early on in their career. Freddy Peralta signed his contract extension in 2020, Aaron Ashby signed in the middle of his first full big league season (2022), and most recently Jackson Chourio signed prior to making his MLB debut.

Another way the Brew Crew could make the most out of a situation is by capitalizing on the relatively new prospect promotion incentives (PPI). This is an initiative that was agreed upon in the latest collective bargaining agreement to help rewards clubs for carrying top prospects on their Opening Day roster and avoiding service time manipulation.

Teams that carry top prospects on Opening Day rosters who go on to win Rookie of the Year or finish in the top three voting for MVP or Cy Young would net their team an extra draft pick that comes just after the first round. This year, Jackson Chourio fit the criteria as a consensus top prospect and has made the Opening Day roster, but per JJ Cooper of Baseball America his contract extension makes him ineligible for PPI.

When the Milwaukee Brewers signed Jackson Chourio to a contract extension he became ineligible for prospect promotion incentives.

The eligibility rules for the PPI program are three-fold. One, the player has to appear on at least two Top 100 prospect lists between ESPN, MLB Pipeline, and Baseball America. Check. Two, he must be rookie-eligible and have fewer than 60 days of MLB service time. Check. Three, the player must accrue a full year of service, meaning making the Opening Day roster or called up within the first two weeks. Likely going to be a check. Those were the only three listed criteria. However...

Per JJ Cooper ($) Jackson Chourio is not eligible for PPI. He cites his contract extension as the reason for this. Cooper also notes that similarly Detroit Tigers prospect Colt Keith is also not eligible for PPI as he, too, signed a pre MLB debut contract extension this offseason.

This is tough news for Milwaukee as Chourio figures to see a lot of playing time for them this year and could be in the running for Rookie of the Year. Should he win the award the Brewers would come out empty handed in regard to receiving an extra high draft pick. This is the first time since the introduction of the program that an eligible player has received a pre-debut extension, which is why this rule was previously not known.

Ultimately this wrinkle making both Chourio and Keith ineligible for PPI seems counter intuitive. Young players may continue to make Opening Day rosters, but now teams may shy away from locking up prospects early on like Milwaukee and Detroit did this offseason.

While it makes sense, since the Brewers didn't need to be incentivized to include Chourio on the roster because of his contract extension, that was not previously listed among the criteria. Even though the Brewers now stand no chance of receiving a draft pick based on Chourio's production in his first few years, they'd gladly trade that chance for a draft pick for an extra 2-4 years of Chourio in his prime and the peace that comes with the long-term security of the face of their franchise.