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Holliday, Chourio primed to follow footsteps of recent rookie superstars


It's a great time to be a rookie in MLB.

Each of the past two seasons have featured Rookie of the Year campaigns that also garnered significant MVP consideration - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll finished fifth in the NL in 2023, and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez finished seventh in the AL in 2022.

As the Minor Leagues continue to churn out remarkable young athletes, which rookies could make their mark on the Major Leagues in a big way in 2024?

Jackson Chourio, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

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Jackson Chourio made waves in December when he signed an eight-year, $82 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers before having taken a single at bat above AA.

Now the 20-year-old has his chance to prove it was the right call, as he was named to the Brewers' opening-day roster on Friday.

Chourio, the No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, has plus speed and a surprising amount of power for a 5-foot-11 frame. New manager Pat Murphy is excited for the future of the team with Chourio in the lineup, but wants to make sure the Maracaibo, Venezuela native earns it.

“How do I view it? Everybody's got to earn it,” Murphy said to's Adam McAlvy. “He's no different than anybody else. I told him [on December 5], ‘You're No. 94 to me.’ He's always worn No. 94 in [Spring Training games]. ‘If you want that No. 11, you’ve got to earn it.'"

Chourio figures to see a lot of time in the outfield, alongside fellow youngsters Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer.

Jackson Holliday, SS, Baltimore Orioles

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The No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Jackson Holliday will not make his highly-anticipated debut on Opening Day.

The Baltimore Orioles will likely make the call for their top prospect early in the season though, as all indications are the 20-year-old is ready for the big leagues.

Holliday is the son of former Major Leaguer Matt Holliday, whose 15-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics included seven All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, one batting title and one World Series title.

The elder Holliday retired in 2018, and Jackson is encountering his father's former teammates in camp to this day. Kolten Wong, who played alongside Matt from 2013-16, still remembers seeing the now-20-year-old Jackson around the Cardinals’ facilities.

“I just knew that he was going to be a beast, and it’s fun to see him turning into that now,” Wong told's Jake Rill. “He was literally entrenched in the big leagues when he was [younger]. ... The kid was there taking batting practice, he’d be out there shagging fly balls. He was in it.”

The Orioles have an abundance of young, talented infielders - including last year's AL Rookie of the Year, Gunnar Henderson at third base - so it's unclear where Holliday will play when he does get the call up. He has gotten the majority of his work in Spring Training at second base, where he also hit .428 with two HRs.

Holliday split time between four levels in the minors last season after being selected first overall in the 2022 MLB June Amateur Draft. He hit at every level, finishing with a .323 average, a .442 on-base percentage, 12 homers, 75 RBI and 24 steals in 125 games.

Wyatt Langford, OF, Texas Rangers

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Wyatt Langford, 22, learned he had made the Texas Rangers' ball club on Friday, just nine months after being selected out of the University of Florida with the fourth overall pick in the MLB June Amateur Draft.

The sixth overall prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, Langford had a strong Spring Training in the Cactus League, hitting .388 with six home runs and 19 runs batted in across 49 at bats.

"He's with us. He's earned it," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's well-deserved with the spring he's had."

Langford shot up the Minor Leagues after being drafted in 2023. He stayed at the Single-A level for 24 games, moved up to Double-A for 12 and spent the final five games at Triple-A. In 44 games in total, he hit .360 with 10 HR and 30 RBI. He also walked more times than he struck out: 36 against 34.

The right-handed bat has all the tools to succeed at the Major League level, and is expected to handle primary designated hitter duties in his first year. By MLB Pipeline prospect grades, he is graded above average at hitting for average, hitting for power and base running.

Paul Skenes, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Paul Skenes is the highest-ranked pitcher on MLB Pipeline's prospects list, and for good reason.

The top pick in last year's MLB June Amateur Draft out of LSU, the lanky 21-year-old righty routinely exceeds 100 miles per hour on his fastball.

He also features a devastating slider that he used in tandem to set the NCAA record for strikeouts in 2023, with 209 in 122.2 innings.

After being drafted by Pittsburgh in June, Skenes made five starts across three Minor-League levels, but pitched just 6.2 innings.

Skenes will not be with the Pirates on Opening Day, after he pitched in just one Spring Training game. He made an appearance in the Pirates' Spring Breakout game against the Baltimore Orioles, and his battle against fellow top prospect Holliday showed the majors what they could expect when he gets the call up.

Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays

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The top-rated left-handed pitcher on MLB Pipeline, Ricky Tiedemann is the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Blue Jays' system, and the 29th-ranked prospect overall.  

After dealing with a biceps injury to his throwing arm in 2023 and being slowed by a hamstring issue in Spring Training, Tiedemann will likely start the 2024 campaign in AAA.

The team will look to ramp up his work in the minors, and he will be under an innings limit, per TSN's Scott Mitchell, but there is a strong likelihood the 21-year-old is in the majors sometimes in the summer.

With a fastball that averages between 93-96 mph and can reach 98, as well as a plus slider and changeup, the stuff is too exciting to ignore.

Per Baseball Savant, only 51 left-handed starters threw a pitch in 2023 that exceeded 95 mph in 2023, and only eight of those did so with more than 30 per cent of their fastballs. Lefties with that kind of velocity are uncommon in the majors.

Manager John Schneider indicated on Friday that Tiedemann was "in the mix" to start the season in the majors. The youngster isn't afraid to let the team know he's ready for the challenge.

"I think [the team] sending me [to the Arizona Fall League] and getting more innings at the end of the year put me in a better place this year where they can push me more," Tiedemann told's Keegan Matheson in February. "That’s obviously what they want, for me to go deeper into games and be more consistent on a weekly basis.”