Still in early stages of rehab, Jeferson Quero in town to accept 2023 Gold Glove Award

Jeferson Quero was in the house at American Family Field on Saturday afternoon -- just not in the manner he'd hoped.

While being on hand to accept the 2023 Minor-League Rawlings Gold Glove Award was certainly an honor for the 21-year-old catcher who's rated as the organization's No. 3 overall prospect, Quero no doubt had designs on being in uniform and actually playing for the Milwaukee Brewers at some point this season.

Instead, Quero is a couple months or so into rehabbing his surgically repaired throwing shoulder.

It was a devastating and untimely injury for Quero, who needed a labrum repair after dislocating his shoulder on a head-first slide back into first base in the wake of his very first 2024 plate appearance for Class AAA Nashville.

"Obviously, I was disappointed because it was an opening-day injury," Quero said with the assistance of coach Nestor Corredor. "I had a lot of goals for this year. But injuries are part of the game and hopefully next year I'll come back stronger."

Indeed, the hope and expectation is that Quero will be ready to participate in spring training. He has been doing his recovery and rehab work at the Brewers' complex in Phoenix and will continue to do so for the rest of the summer.

At this point, Quero is doing very light work with his right arm while focusing on the rest of his body.

He's also trying to keep a positive attitude despite the setback. Unfortunately for Quero it's the second time he's had such a surgery; he had a labrum repair in his left shoulder after he injured that sliding in his first professional season in 2021.

"Basically, day by day I'm thinking God's got a purpose for everything," Quero said. "If God let this happen, it's for a reason and I'm learning from this and I hopefully will come back and be stronger next year.

Jeferson Quero was at American Family Field on Saturday to accept his 2023 Minor-League Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Jeferson Quero was at American Family Field on Saturday to accept his 2023 Minor-League Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

"Everything is going according to plan. So far, no setbacks and I'm moving forward."

Quero had a breakthrough 2023 at Class AA Biloxi, where he hit .262 with 16 home runs and 49 runs batted in with an OPS of .779 over 90 games.

But it was his defense that stood out even more. The winner of a minor-league Gold Glove is considered to be the top defensive player at that particular spot throughout every level, meaning Quero was at the top of a group that included probably a couple hundred catchers from the rookie leagues through Class AAA.

"I'm really proud of myself because I worked so hard last year to get the results on the field," Quero said. "I'm happy to receive the award. I'll just keep working hard."

It was notable on Friday when Quero first showed up at American Family Field that a large number of Brewers players made their way over to greet him. Such was the impression he left during his time in major-league camp this spring, when he earned kudos for his mature approach and effort.

"We get thrown those things for a reason and it's like, 'We'll get through it,'" said manager Pat Murphy. "His arm is elite; you guys remember it in spring training. That was pretty. One of the most impressive things you can think about from spring training was Quero throwing guys out.

"So, let's just hope and pray that he comes back close to that. If he throws it 90% of what he did, he'd still be fine."

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Still in early stages of rehab, Jeferson Quero accepts '23 Gold Glove Award