The Milwaukee Brewers may have found the next big thing in Venezuelan outfielder Jackson Chourio. While he has played only six games in Triple-A baseball, he has hit .333/.375/.476 with two runs batted in. That stat line was enough for the reigning NL Central champions to give him an eight-year contract extension worth up to $80 million.

The deal includes two club options and sets a new record for the largest contract given to a player who hasn’t reached Major League Baseball. Luis Robert held the previous record at six years, $50 million.

Three years ago, Chourio signed a $1.8 million deal to play minor league baseball in the Brewers farm system. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League, batting .296/.386/.447 with five home runs and 25 RBIs.

Chourio went through Single-A and High-A a year later before getting promoted to Class-AA for the Biloxi Shuckers. He had batted .288/.342/.538 throughout those tiers with 75 RBIs and 20 home runs. Aside from being named the Carolina League’s top MLB prospect, he also won league MVP and MiLB Gold Glove honors.

During the 2023 season, Baseball America named Jackson Chourio the sport’s top prospect. He became the first Double-A player to complete 20 home runs and 40 stolen bases since 2005, while his 89 RBIs were a single-season franchise record for Biloxi.

MLB.com has him as the second-best overall prospect, and his scouting report includes a 70-grade speed. He is a superb hitter who makes loud contact with the ball and can direct hits to any part of the field.

Aside from Chourio, the Brewers are building a solid team for the future with their Hitting Prospect of the Year, Tyler Black. If their upward trend continues, they could soon join Christian Yelich and William Contreras on the Major League roster, bolstering what could be a competitive core.

-Lance Fernandez