Mariners News: Alex Jackson Cracks MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects List

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August 10, 2015; Vancouver, BC, CAN; Alex Jackson (10) up to bat for the Everett AquaSox against the Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Helberg-SoDo Mojo
August 10, 2015; Vancouver, BC, CAN; Alex Jackson (10) up to bat for the Everett AquaSox against the Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Helberg-SoDo Mojo /
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Alex Jackson lands at number 94 in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list for 2016.

Alex Jackson is the lone representative for the Seattle Mariners in this year’s MLB.com top 100 prospect list. The 20-year-old outfielder is the 94th best prospect in the game entering the 2016 season according to MLB.com. Jackson placed 28th in MLB.com’s rankings a year ago.

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The Mariners selected Jackson with the 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, CA. Jackson is believed to possess elite power from the right side, and he has the potential to hit for average at the big league level. Many pundits projected a fast rise through the Mariners system for Jackson, but poor performance and injuries have slowed his development.

Jackson began last season with the Mariners single-A affiliate in Clinton. He struggled mightily in the Midwest League, posting a .157 batting average with 0 home runs and 13 RBI across 28 games with the LumberKings. Jackson’s .240 on base percentage and .213 slugging percentage suggest he was not ready for the level of competition.

However, Jackson was reportedly attempting to play through a shoulder injury he suffered in spring training. The Mariners opted to shut him down once they caught wind of the ailment. Jackson was idle for just over a month before being demoted to the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League.

Jackson fared much better with the AquaSox this past summer. The young slugger registered a .239/.365/.466 slash line through 197 plate appearances. Jackson clubbed 11 doubles, 8 home runs, 25 RBI and swiped 2 bases in 48 games. Those numbers are still not ideal, but it took a mature attitude to recover from his horrid start in Clinton.

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It is clear that Jackson did not play to his potential offensively last season. However, the former high school catcher looked significantly more comfortable as an outfielder in 2015. Jackson posted a .964 fielding percentage and a 2.00 range factor per 9 innings. His arm is incredibly strong, and he tallied 9 outfield assists during his time with the AquaSox. Right field appears to be his best position, but he has the ability to play both corners.

The Mariners remain high on Jackson, and rightfully so. He played well in 2014, hitting .280 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI across 24 games in the Arizona League. Jackson also made a great impression during his first spring training with the Mariners in 2015, slugging a home run in a Major League game.

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2016 will likely be a key season for Alex Jackson and his development. The Mariners are expected to start him off once again with the Clinton LumberKings. Ideally, Jackson will dominate the Midwest League in his second go around and earn a mid-season promotion to the Bakersfield Blaze. Will that happen? Who knows. But he has the tools to be a thumper in the heart of the Mariners lineup one day.

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