The Milwaukee Brewers have made two crucial offseason moves that make them immediate contenders in the National League Central Division this season; the addition of Rhys Hoskins from the Philadelphia Phillies, and the eight-year contract extension handed out to Jackson Chourio prior to his MLB debut.
As the MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian stated Monday;
“Why not the Brewers (this year)? No one has the NL Central locked up.”
And boy is that the truth? Ranked the second-worst division in baseball near the end of 2023 by BetMGM, the NL Central as a whole has not made a ton of noise this offseason, with most of its teams making moves to shore up their pitching staffs rather than their aching lineups from a year ago.
“They could really surprise people this year.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 29, 2024
With the addition of Rhys Hoskins, the Brew Crew now boast a bonafide extra-base hit threat from the first baseman position, a position in which Milwaukee ranked dead-last in extra-base hits in during the 2023 season. Despite missing the entire 2023 season due to a left ACL tear, Hoskins has averaged 30 home runs per 162-game stretch over his six seasons in which he saw action with the Phillies, topping out in 2018 when he hit 34 long flies in 558 at bats.
The real make-or-break story of the next few years for the Milwaukee Brewers is baseball’s No. 2 overall prospect Jackson Chourio, who signed a record-setting eight-year contract extension in December prior to making his Major League Baseball debut.
Currently slated as the front-runner to be the starting center-fielder for the Brewers, Chourio also ranks as the number 1 outfield prospect in Major League Baseball. With the 19-year old locked up as a Brewer for the foreseeable future, Milwaukee will be hoping Chourio can build on a two-year minor league career that catapulted him to the top 2 of MLB’s Prospect Rankings, a career in which he batted .286 and belted 47 home runs and drove in 191 runs.
While it remains to be seen if Jackson Chourio and Rhys Hoskins will be the ones to propel the Milwaukee Brewers to their first World Series title in 2024, it is very clear that folks around the league are taking notice of the talent being gathered in Milwaukee.
Couple the new offensive weapons with the Brew Crew’s strong starting pitching, led by Freddy Peralta, who had the highest strikeout rate in the Major Leagues in the second half of the 2023 season, as well as their bullpen, complete with a healthy Abner Uribe, and you have a team that is poised to make a run to be playing competitive baseball in September and October.