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2/1/1987 (30 y, 23 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 8, Pick: 29, Overall: 259, Team: New York Yankees
$1.5M / 1 Years (2017)
Jackson (left knee) is no longer restricted with his hitting, but is still gradually working his way up to outfield-specific agility drills, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. (2/21/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Jackson did well as Curtis Granderson's replacement in Detroit's center field in 2010, playing good-to-great defense and displaying impressive speed. Despite his speed, expect his average to come down given his luck on balls in play and unexceptional contact skills. He's still young, so some increase in power is to be expected, but 10 home runs would be a gift in 2011. Something like .280/.340/.400 is a reasonable expectation from Jackson in 2011. However, he's leading off in front of some good hitters, so he'll probably score around 100 runs again. Moreover, he'll probably steal at least 20 bases. Put together, that means he should be starting in all leagues, and is a potential No. 3 or even No. 2 outfielder in deep AL-only leagues. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Jackson may have been lucky on balls in play in 2010, but his speed and leadoff status mean that he's should be owned in all leagues, and is in the top half of fantasy outfielders in AL-only leagues.
The 'Carlos Gomez' in Jackson's game reared its ugly head in a big way in 2011, as Jackson took a huge step back from his breakout 2010 rookie campaign. Not only did Jackson's batting average on balls in play drop by 50 points (still an impressive .340), but pitchers threw Jackson fewer pitches in the strike zone in 2011, and his bat responded by missing seven percent more of those offerings as well. As a result, Jackson went from a passable choice to lead off with a .293/.345/.400 to an indefensible one -- who still led off 140 times in 2011 -- at .249/.317/.374. The former was a four-win player, and the latter just under three. If the real Jackson lies somewhere in between -- and that's probably a pretty safe assumption -- he'll still be plenty valuable. Just don't let him lead off. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
How stubborn do you feel Jim Leyland really is? That's the real question, because if he blindly lets Jackson lead off for the bulk of the 2012 season, there's a good chance the swift-footed centerfielder could amass 100 runs scored, 25-plus stolen bases, and a passable batting average. All this, while not being a particularly good hitter.
Always thought to eventually develop power, the surge finally came, as he got his home run per fly ball rate ratio above the league average for the first time and easily set a career high in isolated slugging percentage. He should be able to sustain most of those gains this season. Perhaps more impressively, Jackson finally got his strikeouts under control, as his contact rate was only slightly worse than the league average, rather than significantly so. With his line drive stroke and ability to avoid pop-ups, he once again posted a sky high batting average on balls in play, which combined with the improved contact rate, led to a career-best .300 batting average. Unfortunately, his stolen base total did decline as he was suddenly less successful on the basepaths and didn't run as frequently with Prince Fielder in the lineup. He should see a small rebound, but 20+ steals might not come again. (
The Quick Opinion:
Jackson enjoyed a breakout 2012 season as his power spiked and he improved his contact rate, en route to a .300 batting average. A return to stealing 20+ bases would increase his fantasy stock even further, but if not, he should still follow up well as he heads into his prime.
For the first three years of Austin Jackson's career, his stolen base totals declined (27-22-12) while his homers (4-10-16) and isolated slugging percentage (.107-.125-.179) steadily increased. Jackson was changing from one type of player to another, culminating in a fantastic 2012, but that trend didn't quite remain steady in 2013. His steals dropped again (eight), but his power dropped along with it. The end result was a .272/.337/.417 year that now very closely resembles his career line. But even that can't be relied upon, because Jackson's 2013 contained some seriously monthly highs and lows, along with time missed for a hamstring injury. Still, with some hope that replacing Jim Leyland (who rarely gave the green light on the bases) could help return some of those lost steals, Jackson remains an underrated player who can contribute in several categories at a valuable position.
The Quick Opinion:
Even in a 2013 that didn't match his excellent 2012, Jackson remained a valuable multi-category player, and if he can put the various pieces of his game together at once, the Tigers may yet find themselves a star.
2014 was the year of two half seasons for Austin Jackson. Starting the season with the Tigers, Jackson was his normal self, hitting .273, mashing four homers and stealing nine bags in in 100 games. After being traded to the Mariners at the trade deadline, Jackson hit just .229 and slugged .260 in 54 games, stealing 11 bases. Jackson’s strikeout rate rose during his time in Seattle, and he struggled to make hard contact and punch the ball out of the infield, causing his drop in batting average. Jackson will have the opportunity to work all spring with former hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, now the Mariners manager, giving him a good chance of working out his kinks to return to normal. Jackson will start the season as the leadoff man for the the Mariners, a role he could lose if he if repeats his 2014 escapades, but a role that will afford him with plenty of chances to steal bases and score runs. At his best, Jackson was an $20 outfielder who contributed to three and a half categories. In 2015, Jackson is likely to be be worth closer to $12, which is nothing to sneeze at, but nothing to get excited about, either. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Jackson was a mess after he was traded to the Mariners, but there’s plenty of reason to think he’ll bounce back. At his best, Jackson was a $20 standard league outfielder, but don’t shell out more than $10 for him on draft day in mixed leagues.
Jackson hits the difficult 30-year-old marker this year and is coming off of two seasons that are sub-par compared to his early career work. Prior to last year, Jackson had only played centerfield in his career but then he primarily played right, with a few games at left and center, when he was with the Cubs in the second half of last season. Jackson is still currently a free agent at the time of writing this blurb but he should find a home soon and will likely be given an opportunity to start at one of the three outfield spots. Jackson is not too exciting at any particular fantasy category, but he does contribute across the board. His average usually will not kill you, his power has been passable, and steals are the area where he helps the most even if he is no Billy Hamilton on the basepaths. The across the board adequacy will make him useful in AL or NL only leagues for certain and probably valuable in mixed leagues at different points in the season. Keep a close eye on the ballpark he ends up in, the role, and what he looks like during spring training. (Ben Duronio)
The Quick Opinion:
Jackson is still a source for speed and adds some passable power. At 30, be cautious of a sharp decline in either of those categories as the combination of the two is the only reason you would be interested in him in fantasy this season.
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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