With the outpouring of MLB prospect rankings, we are constantly reminded of the subjectivity in Major League Baseball.
This is best evidenced by Mariners prospect Alex Jackson, who was ranked #59 by Keith Law and ESPN yesterday, but is ranked #28 by the masterminds at MLB.com. How can one player be 21 spots higher in one analysis?
That’s because it’s so darn difficult to accurately determine the heights of baseball talent. If every scout had perfect information, Mike Trout would have been drafted first overall, Derek Jeter would have gone first overall, and guys like Dustin Ackley wouldn’t have been a top-3 pick.
If you want to see what ESPN insider said about Jackson, click here.
But here’s what MLB.com had to say about the 19-year old outfielder:
"Thought to be the best high school bat in the 2014 Draft class, and maybe the best overall hitter, Jackson’s name was mentioned in conversations about the No. 1 overall pick. He ended up being the third hitter taken, No. 6 overall, joining four other Rancho Bernardo High School alumni to be drafted in the first round.Jackson has an enormous amount of bat speed and strength from the right side of the plate that allows him to generate a lot of power. He’s far from an all-or-nothing hitter, though, and should hit for average as well along the way. He will have to tone down his swing, which can get long at times, but he has shown an ability to make adjustments already. Jackson caught a fair amount in high school, but also played other positions, so he was able to switch to being a full-time outfielder fairly easily upon the start of his pro career. His best defensive tool, his plus arm, will work very well from right field.Now unencumbered from having to learn the nuances of catching, Jackson’s bat could allow him to move more quickly than many high schoolers. He has the chance to be an impact middle-of-the-order hitter in the future."
As I mentioned in my other post about Alex Jackson, I expect AJax to be in the Major Leagues in 2017 if all goes well– this is the same ETA the MLB.com guys have for the young slugger.
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He has a powerful swing that makes plenty of contact. They expect him to be a powerful middle of the order bat in the MLB sooner than later.
Could he be the guy who replaces Nelson Cruz when his 4-year contract expires? Sure sounds tempting.
As the Mariners age, these young hitting talents will need to work their way up and produce. In 2019 Cruz will be gone, and guys like D.J. Peterson (ranked #50 on MLB.com), Patrick Kivlehan, Alex Jackson, and Austin Wilson should be playing in the Major Leagues, either in Seattle or elsewhere.