Young Brewers Catcher Jeferson Quero Stands Out In Big League Camp
The Brewers thought so highly of 20-year-old catcher Jeferson Quero, he of 20 games above Low-A, that he merited an invitation to big league spring training.
“He's 20 years old, but he's a very exciting player, kind of mature beyond his years and capable of being here,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said at the time. “He should be in this camp.”
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Quero was one of six catchers in the mix, but as the only one yet to play in the majors, it was more of an “eyes and ears” camp for him, as Counsell likes to say when discussing young players.
Regardless, Quero built on his strong performance in the Arizona Fall League with a studiousness and work ethic not often seen in players his age. Now, the challenge will be to carry that over and follow up with a strong 2023.
“Jeferson has great leadership qualities, which makes him a natural fit as a catcher,” Brewers vice president of player operations and baseball administration Tom Flanagan said. “People notice the catching and throwing ability right away.
“But what he’s doing as a catcher and with the bat—at this age—is really impressive.”
In 95 games split between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin last year, Quero hit .286/.342/.439 with 10 home runs. Milwaukee signed him out of Venezuela in 2019.
Quero's offense didn’t quite carry over to the AFL, where he hit .222 in 45 at-bats but made 14 starts behind the plate and stood out. He threw out 46% of basestealers, including three in one game.
The Brewers expect that Quero will spend a good portion of this season at Double-A Biloxi.
The Brewers are set in the major leagues for the time being after trading for William Contreras, but Quero should enter the picture at some point beginning in 2024.
— Top prospect Jackson Chourio certainly didn’t enter 2023 lacking buzz, but he managed to generate more as he made his first appearances in big league camp with the Brewers in Cactus League play.
His debut on March 8—while he was still only 18—came against Team Great Britain in a World Baseball Classic tune-up game. Chourio responded with two doubles, two runs scored and a walk while also throwing out a runner at the plate from left field.
"We send him over here for Game No. 1 and he puts up four good at-bats, and that’s impressive in itself, no matter how highly touted you are,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s impressive. He’s a good baseball player with an extremely bright future ahead of him.”
— Despite missing time due to a hamstring strain, Garrett Mitchell was viewed as the team's unquestioned Opening Day starter in center field—a huge nod to the confidence the organization has in the 24-year-old whose major league experience consisted of 28 games at the end of 2022.
The belief is Mitchell can be a game-changing player on the bases with his blinding speed—assuming he can improve upon his high strikeout rate.