Cubs sign top pick Brett Jackson
Yesterday afternoon, the Cubs signed their top pick from MLB’s 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Cal outfielder Brett Jackson for a reported $972,000, pending a physical.
Jackson is a high-motor guy with a quick bat, strong hands and a near-major league ready body. He boasts plus speed and covers some serious ground in centerfield. He has good instincts, takes good routes to balls and owns a plus arm. His power is above-average, which means the left-handed hitter could
project anywhere from 12-18 homers a year.
With that, however, comes some swings and misses, as he led the Golden Bears this year in strikeouts, with 68. He makes good contact nonetheless and should hit for average.
In three seasons at Berkeley, Jackson batted .303 with 91 runs scored, 25 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs and 85 RBIs in 152 games.
In the July issue of Vine Line, both scouting director Tim Wilken and area scout John Bartsch chimed in on Jackson’s abilities. Neither are worried about the strikeouts and are fully confident that Jackson will be patrolling Wrigley Field’s outfield sooner, rather than later.
“We’re really thrilled we could acquire a player like Brett Jackson,” Wilken said. “He plays the game hard, and we think he has a chance to be a front-line centerfielder and everyday player,” he added. “He has an above-average throwing arm. He’s an athletic centerfielder, a plus runner and has a chance to have some power.”
Said Bartsch: “He’s a hard-nosed player who likes to get dirty and compete. He’s got a short compact stroke with stronq, quick hands. He’s got plus range in all directions, gets good reads off the bat and takes instinctive routes….He looks the part now. He still gets pull happy at the plate. He needs to recognize off-speed pitches better and use the whole field. But he has the tools to play.”
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