Name: Brett Jackson
Born: August 2nd, 1988
2012 Stats: 19 games, 78 AB, .244/.341/.449, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 11 BB, 23 K, 4 SB, 0 CS
Career Stats: 314 games, 1208 AB, .290/.390/.489, 42 HR, 168 RBI, 186 BB, 341 K, 67 SB, 20 CS
Game Scouted: Numerous games in 2011 and 2012.
Analysis: Jackson was a first round pick in 2009 out of the University of California. He signed quickly and has advanced rapidly through the Cubs’ minor league ranks. Jackson has a very easy set-up standing almost straight up and down. His swing is fast through the zone allowing him extra time to recognize pitches and their locations. The swing is smooth and level through the zone as well. Jackson has an excellent knowledge of the strike zone, and is very selective with the pitches that he will swing at. He will let early strikes go if he doesn’t think he can hit them for extra bases. His bat speed allows him to spoil good pitches when he is down in the count. Jackson rarely swings at balls, but strikeouts have plagued his career. He is so selective at the plate that he falls behind in counts if he is not careful. He also has shown a bit of knack for swinging at pitches low and in on him. Despite the quick bat speed, Jackson struggles to make contact at times. His strikeout percentage in his minor league career is at 28.2%. Jackson is always going to strikeout, but you would like to see that rate drop. Instead, it has done the opposite, rising each year since entering professional baseball until dropping slightly this year (22.4% in 2009, 25.7% in 2010, 32.0% in 2011, and 29.5% this season). Jackson’s great speed does help his power though, when he gets a hold of a pitch it will go far. Jackson should get 60+ extra base hits annually at the big league level. Jackson has slightly above average speed that plays well due to his good reads in the outfield and intelligent base running. Jackson’s defense is also slightly above average. He makes good reads off the bat and takes smooth, direct routes to the ball. His arm isn’t strong, just average really, but is very accurate.
Future: A lot of people believed Jackson was major league ready coming out of camp this spring, but he was just blocked due to the Cubs outfield of Soriano, Byrd, and DeJesus. With the trade of Byrd to Boston the pressure will be on the Cubs to promote Jackson as soon as he gets on his first hot streak of 2012. His tools are major league ready, but his approach at the plate needs some slight tweaks. He needs to be more aggressive at the plate, not swinging at balls, but swinging at hittable pitches earlier in the count rather than waiting for the perfect pitch. Pitchers will know to live on the edge of the zone against him and it will end poorly for Brett if he can’t make the adjustment. Jackson’s power will play well in Wrigley and he is going to be a 20/20 candidate for numerous years to come. Jackson’s athleticism will allow him to play in center, but he could move to right field later in his career if he slows down a bit. Projected line: .265/.370/.490 with 20 home runs, 75 RBI, 20 SB, 80 BB, 160 K annually in the major leagues. He has potential to be an All-Star center fielder, or at a minimum a starter for a number of years.
Present Overall: 55
Future Overall: 60