Mariners Minors: Checking in with the Everett AquaSox

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Drew Jackson playing shortstop for Everett on August 11th. (Photo Credit: Brian Helberg)

Drew Jackson – SS

The Stanford alum stood out as the best all-around player on the diamond on Tuesday night. Drew Jackson led things off in the first inning with a single. Following a Logan Taylor walk, Jackson swiped third base. He got another chance in the 2nd inning, and he capitalized, yanking a double on a ground ball down the left field line.

Jackson really impressed me in the 4th inning. He was up to bat and found himself in a 1-2 hole. He proceeded to foul off a number of quality pitches, and worked the count full. Jackson ended up winning the at bat, reaching first base on a well deserved walk. Despite getting a poor jump, the 22-year-old proceeded to steal second base to put himself into scoring position. He finished 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of steals on Tuesday.

Drew Jackson is not just an offensive threat. His calling card in Palo Alto was his defense. He made some nice plays ranging up the middle in the early part of the game. Then, Jackson made one of the best plays I have ever seen a shortstop make. He sprinted to his right and fielded a hard hit ground ball deep in the hole. Jackson picked up the grounder, did a jump throw to first and got the runner by a few feet. Arm strength is not an issue for Jackson, and he showed off his cannon on numerous occasions on Tuesday.

Jackson is hands down the best player on the AquaSox, and from what I heard on Tuesday, he is the heavy favorite to take home the Northwest League MVP. Jackson has been named NWL Player of the Week twice in 2015.

The 6’2/195 middle infielder was selected by the M’s in the 5th round of the 2015 draft. Jackson bats right-handed and throws right-handed. He has big league pedigree, as his older brother is former Cubs’ top prospect Brett Jackson. The Orinda, CA product has posted an astronomical .395 batting average with 2 home runs, 18 RBI and 34 stolen bases across 40 games.

This kid is an extremely exciting prospect, and one all M’s fans should be paying close attention to in the years to come. I expect Drew to be listed as a top 10 prospect for Seattle in 2016 and move quickly through the M’s system. I would not be surprised if Jackson is playing at Safeco Field within the next 24 months.

Next: Luis Liberato