Jackson Chourio leads Top 5 Latino Breakout Stars for 2024
The Brewers believe in Jackson Chourio
Each year we learn about exceptional Latino athletes who rise to the scene showcasing their talents. Jackson Chourio has yet to play a single inning in the majors, but the Milwaukee Brewers have already handed him a record-breaking contract.
Jackson Chourio, 19, might be the most hyped teenager in American sports this year. He’s not alone. Several young Latino athletes are expected to climb through the shadows for breakthrough campaigns in 2024.
Here are the top five young Latino athletes who Our Esquina believes will rise to prominence this year.
No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo
Freshman guard Hannah Hidalgo quickly found herself in Notre Dame’s starting five. She wasted no time in guiding the Fighting Irish to a 9-2 record.
Against Western Michigan on Dec. 21, she recorded the highest scoring triple-double in Irish women’s basketball history. Hidalgo scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished 10 assists in a dominant 84-47 win.
She is only the second true freshman to record a triple-double for Notre Dame.
Hidalgo has already won ACC Rookie of the Week honors five times and ACC Player of the Week twice. She is her team’s leading scorer with 270 points. The Haddonfield, N.J., native is off to a fast start to her collegiate career. As the calendar turns to 2024, she intends to lead Notre Dame to a deep run in March.
No. 4 Junior Caminero
With the Rays ending the 2023 season in disappointment, they’ll rely on Junior Caminero to fill the void at shortstop. Tampa Bay’s top prospect had a taste of the majors during a September call-up this past season.
In seven games, Caminero recorded eight hits, a home run, and seven RBIs. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native, signed with Cleveland as an amateur free agent. He was traded to the Rays after the 2021 season.
Caminero, a 6-foot-1 slugger, is coming off a great year. He was named to the All-MilB Prospect First Team and Breakout Player of the Year. In addition he was a Double AA All-Star . Caminero also represented the American League in the Futures Game during the Midsummer Classic.
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“Caminero is extremely talented.” former Montgomery Biscuits manager Morgan Ensberg said. “He has the most bat speed I’ve seen in a minor league player. He is tireless in his desire to be great. He is advanced in his approach at the plate and controls the strike zone.
“He figures out what the pitcher is doing and causes major damage in the highest leverage situations. He is an excellent teammate and makes players around him better. It’s shocking he’s so young.”
No. 3 Kamilla Cordoso
University of South Carolina center Kamilla Cordoso is one of the best centers in women’s college basketball. She and the Lady Gamecocks lost to Catlin Clark and Iowa in the 2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
The native of Montes Claros, Brazil, has the Gamecocks primed for another national championship run. She is coming off an impressive 2023. Cordoso was an Honorable Mention All-America, Second Team All-SEC, and SEC 6th Woman of the Year in 2023.
Now in the starting five, Cordoso has been a catalyst for No. 1 ranked South Carolina. The 6-foot-7 center is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer thus far. Cordoso is averaging 13.9 points along with 10.1 rebounds.
The projected first round pick in the WNBA draft will aim to replicate her college success in the WNBA. First, however, she’ll try to lead South Carolina to another national championship.
No. 2 Kevin Concepcion
Kevin “KC” Concepcion had an amazing season with N.Carolina State. The true freshman wide receiver led the Wolfpack in most receiving categories. The Raleigh, N.C., native logged 71 receptions, 839 yards, and 10 touchdowns this season. He had more than triple the yards to the next closest receiver.
Concepcion’s tremendous season was rewarded with the 2023 ACC Rookie and Offensive Rookie of the Year. He led North Carolina State to a 9-4 record and a trip to the Pop-Tarts Bowl. He was also mentioned as part of the Second-Team All-ACC
Prior to the Pop-Tarts Bowl, NC State head coach Dave Doeren was determined to run his offense through Concepcion.
“I think Coach and I and the offensive staff during our bye week did a really good job of really analyzing ourselves,” Doeren said. “Looking at how we were efficient and how we were inefficient and the plays we needed to focus more on and the ones we needed to get rid of: Who needed the ball more, how can we really feature No. 10 (Kevin Conception) as a playmaker, which he has done a great job of.”
With two more years before he is eligible for the NFL Draft, Concepcion has a chance to cement a legacy at NC State.
No. 1 Jackson Chourio
Jackson Chourio is not only number one in Our Esquina’s Top Latino to Watch. He is Major League Baseball’s most exciting rookie. The Milwaukee Brewers gave Chourio an $82 million, eight-year contract extension without ever seeing him face a major league pitch. The contract is the most money guaranteed to a player who has not made his major league debut.
With such an enormous contract, plenty of pressure is on Chourio’s shoulders to become the Brewers’ franchise player.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Chourio said. “I will treat this with respect, and I’m definitely going to meet the expectations and enjoy the game taking it with respect.”
The 19-year-old outfielder was the 2022 Carolina League Most Valuable Player, and a Low Class A All-Star. He was invited to participate in the Futures game representing the Brewers.
With the Maracaibo, Venezuela, native producing in minor league baseball, the Brewers believe they have found their man.
“As Jackson ascended through our system, we recognized that he had met and exceeded every single challenge that we put in front of him,” Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said. “When you make investments like this, it’s important to invest in people. It’s important to invest in talent. It’s important to invest in work habits, and it’s important to invest in character. And we believe that Jackson checks all those boxes.”
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