White Sox outfield prospect Brandon Jacobs is headed to Arizona, just two months after he was traded to Chicago by the Red Sox. As Jim Callis of MLB.com reports, Jacobs appears to be one of the two players to be named later in the deal that the D’backs will receive as part of the deal that brought them Mark Trumbo.
Jacobs, 23, is little more than a clumsy amalgamation with tools at this point – a player blessed with raw athleticism, speed, and power, but who has yet to channel that ability onto the diamond. The Red Sox gave him a well above slot deal in the 10th round of 2010 to pull him away from a football scholarship, and he did manage a .303/.376/.505 line in his first year of full season ball two years later, but the results have been humbling ever since.
He reported to High-A as a 21 year old in 2012, but hit only .252 with an on base percentage of .322 while lacking the power to compensate. He showed modest improvements in 2013, hitting .244/.334/.440 at that level, only to look completely overmatched when the White Sox moved him up to Double-A.
After stealing 30 bases and knocking out 17 home runs in 2010, he has failed to break 20 steals or 13 home runs in successive years. These problems may stem from an overall poor approach at the plate, as he struck out 140 times last year while walking only 44.
Ultimately revealing of the low esteem in which the White Sox hold him, Chicago left him unprotected for the Rule V draft tomorrow. If he is selected tomorrow – and considering his talent, he may very well be – then the Diamondbacks will move on and finish off the trade by getting some other minor leaguer. If not, Arizona will receive a tremendously gifted athlete who may still turn out to be a 20/20 guy in right or left field, but who has been frustratingly unable to hone his skills or refine his approach since being drafted over four years ago.