Brewers rookie Jackson Chourio, who is younger than Facebook, debuts with hit, RBI and steal

With Jackson Holliday starting the season in the minors, the top prospect to make his debut this Opening Day was Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio.

Chourio did a pretty good job showing why so many are excited about his future, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, a stolen base and a walk as the Brewers' leadoff hitter and right fielder against the New York Mets on Friday.

MLB Pipeline and Baseball America both rank Chourio as the No. 2 prospect in baseball behind Holliday. The Brewers felt optimistic enough about his future that they signed him to an eight-year, $82 million contract in December, though that has meaning beyond Chourio.

By taking the field at 20 years and 13 days old, Chourio made plenty of history by age alone:

  • Chourio is the first MLB player born in 2004. Usher's "Yeah!" was the No. 1 song in America when he was born. He is younger than Facebook.

  • Chourio is the second-youngest player to ever lead off for a team's opener, per The youngest was Bobby Doerr, a Hall of Famer who was 19 years, 13 days old when he debuted for the Boston Red Sox in 1937.

  • Chourio is reportedly the fourth-youngest player to make an Opening Day lineup in the divisional era (since 1969). Every player ahead of him is in the Hall of Fame: Robin Yount (twice), Ken Griffey Jr. and Adrián Beltré.

Chourio did more than make a lineup, though. He drew a four-pitch walk against José Quintana to open the game, then stole second base. The latter isn't a surprise, given that MLB Pipeline rated his speed as his best tool, with a 70 grade.

Chourio grounded out in his next at-bat, then got his first career hit in the fifth inning with an opposite-field single (video above).

Milwaukee Brewers' Jackson Chourio (11) hits a single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, March 29, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Jackson Chourio has superstar potential for the Brewers. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

More success, but not a hit, came in the seventh, when Chourio hit what should've been an easy double-play ball to second base. Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil, who was involved in the game's loudest incident, and shortstop Francisco Lindor both made good plays, but Chourio turned on the jets to make it to first.

It was a fielder's choice, but it still counted as Chourio's first career RBI.

Chourio hit 30.6 feet-per-second on that run, which is faster than the average sprint speed of any player in MLB last season.

Those were Chourio's contributions to a 3-1 season-opening win for the Brewers. The team is facing a transition year after trading former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, losing Brandon Woodruff to injury and watching manager Craig Counsell and president of baseball operations David Stearns leave for other teams, but a strong rookie season from Chourio would be a major reason for future optimism.