“Some scouts are predicting stardom, while others think he’ll be only an average regular. I’d split the difference on those projections. Projects to be a .310 hitter. Has all-star power potential.”
Would you get excited about a scouting report like that? I definitely would, and so did the Seattle Mariners, who drafted 19 year-old Alex Jackson as the 6th overall draft pick of the 2014 June amateur draft. Many first round draft picks end up beings busts, but I see big things for Jackson, who has a high ceiling as either a catcher or an outfielder.
Take a look at some of his swings:
According to OOTP15, Alex is the #2 overall prospect in baseball, ahead of Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Miguel Sano and Corey Seager. Baseball Prospectus’ Mark Anderson also sees Jackson as a potential “beast” (chat excerpts are shown below).
His OOTP15 ratings are truly eye-opening: (80 is the max rating)
65 potential contact
60 potential gap power
75 potential power – which would put him on par with Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Cabrera & Chris Davis
60 potential eye discipline
In a simulated season, we see improvement in almost all categories, and only a slight decrease in overall potential.
Check out the POTENTIAL 162 game season based off of his 55 games played in the Rookie League of OOTP15. 53 HRs, 144 RBIs, .320 AVG. and a 10.0 WAR. That sounds like a triple crown season to me (yes I know that’s extremely optimistic, but still, the potential is there).
Even his defensive ratings aren’t too shabby, especially when you consider the strength of his arm.
But an interview with Baseball Prospectus’ Daron Sutton gives me even more reason to be hopeful. The below answers sound a lot like a young Derek Jeter, one of, if not the ultimate example of classy competitor. If I were the GM of the Mariners, I would hang on to Alex Jackson for the long haul.
“My mom sets an amazing example for me. The way she goes and she does her thing and makes sure that I have everything I need. She’s always there to support me and has my back on everything and it’s definitely a great feeling,” Jackson said in 2013.
“It’s just one of those things where it’s been since I was young, it’s been taught to me since I was little. You have to go out there and you have to work for everything that you have,” he said this past Sunday. “You can’t get to a certain level and just expect everything to come to you; you’ve got to work for what you get in life. So never stop working hard, just go out there and have fun. You never know what’s going to happen so go out there have fun and enjoy yourself.” http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24689
|Who do you think becomes the better MLB player? Kyle Schwarber or Alex Jackson?
(Allen from Ridgewood)
|Two very different players with much different paths to the big leagues. I think it is pretty reasonable to assert that Jackson has the much higher overall ceiling, but is also at a far greater risk for flaming out. I like Schwarber as a solid everyday player, though I’m not sure at what position. I tend to prefer raw ceiling over proximity when I’m looking at prospects, and as a result, I’m inclined to give the edge to Jackson. (Mark Anderson))|
|Of the young hitters in the low minors, who has the highest ceiling? Are there any “franchise” type players with elite ceilings?
(Drew from Washington, DC)
|I won’t suggest there are elite ceilings out there among the hitters in the lowest levels of the minors, as that’s a pretty special player, but there are some really incredible players at the lowest levels….a guy like Rafael Devers has game-changing potential. Someone like Alex Jackson could be a beast. Eloy Jimenez carries a ton of risk but is really talented and could be the type of power prospect that is rare in today’s game. (Mark Anderson)
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