The Milwaukee Brewers just made history, signing top prospect Jackson Chourio to a record-breaking eight year contract before he made his MLB debut. Now that he's signed long-term, it's highly likely that he makes the Opening Day roster and will be in the starting lineup.
While there's still a chance the Brewers could opt to keep Chourio in Triple-A to begin the year, we can fairly assume that he's going to in the big leagues, which changes the lineup configuration.
The Brewers have a glut of outfielders that will have to figure out playing time, which was a problem, albeit a good problem, even before Chourio's arrival.
Even though there's a lot of offseason left to go, here's how the Brewers starting lineup projects to look following Jackson Chourio's contract extension.
1. LF Christian Yelich
2. C William Contreras
3. CF Jackson Chourio
4. 1B Jake Bauers
5. SS Willy Adames
6. RF Sal Frelick
7. DH Garrett Mitchell
8. 3B Andruw Monasterio
9. 2B Brice Turang
While immediately putting Jackson Chourio in the 3-hole may be a tad aggressive, he's a far more natural fit in that spot in the order than Sal Frelick. Frelick is a contact hitter that doesn't have much in the way of power while Chourio has hit 20+ homers each of the past two seasons and has been given a 60-grade (plus) on his power. Ultimately, the 3-hole is likely to be his home in the lineup, driving in Yelich and Contreras on base in front of him.
Jake Bauers batting cleanup is certainly unsightly, but as of right now that's probably the case. He's a left-hander that breaks up a run of righties with Contreras, Chourio, and Adames. Sal Frelick and Garrett Mitchell aren't exactly cleanup hitter types. Bauers is a power bat and is currently the top first baseman on the depth chart. It's highly likely the Brewers will make another addition at first base before spring training.
Adames drops to the 5-hole, where he found some success last year, and then it's the young kids to round out the lineup. Frelick and Mitchell are the top remaining offensive options among the outfield glut. Frelick played a lot of right field last year, which is why I have him currently slotted in right field instead of Mitchell, who's at DH. Turang and Monasterio finish the bottom of the order.
There's still some work to be done before this lineup is ready for the 2024 season, especially at first base. The outfield logjam could clear up a little if a trade comes to fruition, maybe a DH option is brought in. Yelich could move to DH to clear some more room in the outfield. A lot can happen, there's plenty of offseason left.
What is clear though is that Chourio's presence is going to greatly improve the heart of this Brewers lineup in 2024 and beyond.