Alex Jackson has enjoyed an outstanding spring training showcasing the same tremendous upside that made him the 6th overall pick back in 2014. In eight games thus far, Jackson is slashing .375/.444/.813 with six hits, two homers and a double. It is indisputably a small sample size, but he is creeping back on the radar of Braves prospects to watch out for as he preps for his 2019 campaign.
Before the 2015 season, Jackson was ranked #20 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list. Two years later, he was being traded for pennies on the dollar. The Braves acquired him after the 2016 season for minor league pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse after Jackson struggled to find his footing in his transition to professional baseball.
At the time, the Braves lacked both catching depth and power bats throughout their organization. They still are to a degree. Although, the emergence of William Contreras allowed the Braves to pass on the high asking price for J.T. Realmuto. Regardless, Jackson checked both of those boxes, and the Braves believed in him as a prospect with extremely high upside, even if there was a chance he would never see the majors.
Jackson enjoyed his best year in his first season with the Braves organization, hitting .267 with 19 homers and 65 RBIs in just 96 games, but his quiet 2018 silenced any of the hype that was beginning to build around him once again. He barely hit over the Mendoza line (.201) and had only eight home runs and 41 RBIs in 99 games with 120 Ks. Nonetheless, he still continued to climb the ranks of the minors reaching AAA for the first time in his career.
At 6’2″, 225 pounds, Jackson has power you cannot teach and just recently turned 23. He’s flashed that power potential in both spring training games and batting practice. Now, 2019 will be about turning those flashes into consistent production.