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Brewers' Jackson Chourio, Padres' Jackson Merrill making big early impressions

Jackson Chourio
Posted at 11:40 AM, Apr 16, 2024

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Another day, another set of milestone accomplishments from Major League Baseball's rookie class of Jacksons.

San Diego's Jackson Merrill went 3 for 5 and drove in two runs and Milwaukee's Jackson Chourio hit a two-run homer and scored twice in the Padres' 7-3 victory over the Brewers on Monday night. Both players are just 20 years old, though Merrill turns 21 on Friday.

According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, this was only the fourth time since RBIs became an official stat in 1920 that two players under 21 had produced multiple hits and multiple RBIs in the same game. The last time it happened was in 1965, with Boston's Tony Conigliaro and Tony Horton.

The other instances came in 1955 (the Washington Senators' Harmon Killebrew and the Kansas City Athletics' Clete Boyer) and 1959 (Cincinnati's Vada Pinson and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Ron Fairly).

Merrill and Chourio, along with 20-year-old Baltimore Orioles infielder Jackson Holiday, are among baseball's top prospects. Holliday was called up to the majors last week and got his first career hit Sunday during the Orioles' 6-4 triumph over the Brewers in Baltimore.

"It's crazy for me watching these guys. … It's impressive, there's 20-year-olds over there going up against 30-year-olds here," Brewers catcher William Contreras said through a translator.

Merrill is batting .356 with a .433 on-base percentage one homer, seven RBIs and eight walks in 19 games. He had a two-run single Monday as part of the Padres' six-run rally in the fifth inning.

"He's not trying to do too much," Padres manager Mike Shildt said. "He understands the player that he is, which is a really good one clearly. He's got intent with the at-bat he wants to take based on the situation and the pitcher, and he's just staying within himself and letting his talent play. It's been impressive."

The Brewers showed their faith in Chourio during the offseason by signing him to an eight-year, $82 million contract when he had played just six games above the Double-A level. The pressure of living up to that contract certainly hasn't bothered him so far.

His performance Monday made Chourio the youngest player to homer and steal a base in the same game since a 19-year-old Bryce Harper did it on Sept. 26, 2012. Chourio is 20 years, 18 days old.

After going 1 of 11 during the Brewers' weekend series in Baltimore, Chourio bounced back Monday by hitting a leadoff single in the first inning and homering in the second. He's batting .259 with three homers, 11 RBIs and three steals in 13 games.