3/14 Jackson impresses but needs more time

Brett Jackson may be ready for the big leagues but the Cubs don’t have an opening for the outfielder. The Cubs’ first round pick in 2009, Jackson was batting .385 in eight games. It’s early, but he’s been as advertised.

“When you see him in person, it’s been pretty impressive, every part of his game,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. “He comes to play every day. He comes to kick the other team’s butt, there’s no doubt about it. He’s a very aggressive, confident kid who’s probably going to end up playing here a long time.”

Is the 23-year-old outfielder ready for the big leagues?

“I don’t see why he wouldn’t be ready,” Sveum said. “Maybe the last part of his game is a little better two-strike hitter and probably not putting himself in some of those counts with swinging and missing. As far as the ability and everything, I don’t see what else has to happen other than a little better two-strike approach.”

But the Cubs plan is for the talented Jackson to start at Triple-A Iowa. He played 48 games there last season and hit .297 with 10 homers and 13 doubles.

“It’s just at-bats sometimes,” Sveum said of what’s needed. “Some of these guys get to the big leagues now before they get 2,000 at-bats in the Minor Leagues. You learn with more at-bats, tinkering. He’s got a pretty good understanding of the strike zone. The only time he swings at bad pitches is when he has two strikes on him.”

So far, Jackson has 1,133 Minor League at-bats, and a career .292 average and .393 on-base percentage.

“One thing at the big league level is you’re going to see guys with the ability to bounce breaking balls with two strikes,” Sveum said. “You won’t see the same hanging breaking balls that maybe you’ll see in the Minor Leagues. You’ll see guys taught and understand about bouncing breaking balls and you have to be able to lay off. It’s not about hitting breaking balls, it’s about laying off of them with two strikes.”

Even if Jackson shows improvement, there just isn’t room on the Cubs roster. They have Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and David DeJesus committed as the three starters. One thing Sveum has made clear is that Jackson needs to play and being the extra outfielder on the Cubs’ 25-man roster won’t help him.

“You don’t want the guy to sit on the bench,” Sveum said. “He needs to go play still. Unfortunately, there’s not really an opening right now for that to happen.”

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

Thanks for the update. Looking forward to seeing him with the big club soon.

As a Des Moines resident with a pass to the I-Cubs I am thrilled to have him in town to watch! I just hope he doesn’t become a Bobby Scales like player (even though I think he has a better upside than scales) and get mired in the abyss of triple-A. Nice to know though if someone gets hurt, we have a capable bat to come up as a replacement.

Just another better, younger player being kept back by bad Hendry contracts. Thanks Alfonso and Jim. I would LIKE to see Sveum handle Jackson vs. Soriano IF Hoystien decided to put him on the major league roster. Then we would see if talent trumps contract as we all know Jackson would be the way to go in LF even if he wouldn’t put up the same homerun totals as the almighty Soriano. This is just the Cubs dodging the Soriano problem because that is what having Soriano on the ML roster is, a problem. I’m still hoping that Hoystien is hell-bent on OPENING UP a spot by launching Soriano and his spring training leading homerun totals. He belongs in the AL, always has. Hendry used the excuse that the Nationals saw him as a left fielder so why not the Cubs? BECAUSE THE NATIONALS DIDN’T SEE HIM AS AN 8 YEAR OPTION IN LF, THAT’S WHY. DUH!

Not to be as critical as the above poster, we all make mistakes and Hendry made a huge one with Soriano. There may be a couple reasons Soriano is still in camp, his contract and the Cubs do need some power.
However with the defense in LF, the strikeouts and OBP, is 25 to 30 HR’s worth it? I too feel like the contracts in LF & CF are holding up a prospect. Maybe two very soon.
So even with the contract in LF being practically unmoveable, how about CF? There are a few teams needing a CF, the Mets to name one.
Dejesus has a very nice OBP, I sure hope he get his timing down very soon.

He will be with the club in July I hate to say it but Bryd will be traded and Jackson will replace him (hate to see Bryd go but glad to see Jackson come up)

That would be a shame as an outfield of Byrd, Jackson and DeJesus would be much superior to Soriano, Jackson and DeJesus. But I think cechansler speaks the truth, Soriano may be too big of a Hendry mistake for even the talented Hoystein to move.
BUT if us Cubs fans can do anything…it’s HOPE….

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