Seattle Mariners Game Recap: Smith Goes Yard, but M’s Lose

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Mar 18, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson (16) at bat against the Oakland Athletics at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Many Mariners’ fans were unhappy with Austin Jackson’s performance down the stretch in 2014. The M’s acquired the 28-year-old center fielder from the Detroit Tigers at last year’s trade deadline, and the hope was that he would be a force at the top of the M’s lineup. Jackson hit just .229 across 223 at bats in a Mariners’ uniform last season, but he has been electric in spring training.

AJ went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI on Tuesday afternoon against the Padres. He has been incredible over the first few weeks of spring training, hitting .351 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 RBI’s across 27 at bats atop the Mariners’ lineup. Jackson has largely faced big league pitchers in spring training, and appears primed for a huge season in 2015.

Jackson is set to hit free agency following the season, and he could be in for a big payday if he can show himself to be a consistent offensive contributor in 2015. He is considered an elite defender in center field, and if AJ can keep up his hot hitting when the games count, he could find himself representing the Mariners at the All Star game in July.

Next: Looking Ahead