Chicago Cubs Prospect Profile: Brett Jackson

This guy has amazing speed!

Brett Jackson was the Cubs first round (31st overall pick) in the 2009 draft. The twenty-one year old Jackson is a 6’2″, 210 pound left-handed hitting and right-handed throwing centerfielder. Brett is very athletic with solid overall body strength, and projects to be a starter in the majors. He is currently ranked as the second best Cubs prospect by Baseball America and is the 74th best prospect in the game according to the same publication.

Jackson has a plus arm in centerfield to go along with plus range. Prior to the 2009 draft, Brett Jackson was ranked as the second best overall athlete, among all college players, by Baseball America.

Brett Jackson had a solid three-year college career at the University of California with a .303 batting average, 91 runs, 85 RBI, 65 walks, 117 strikeouts, and 27 stolen bases.

Look for him to be the Cubs lead off hitter in the not to distant future. He has tremendous speed that I was able to get a glimpse of this spring training on Comcast. He was on first base when Micah Hoffpauir hit a double, and before I could blink he was crossing home plate. His scouting report on The Baseball Cube has his speed listed at 87 … for comparison, Jacoby Ellsbury (95), B.J. Upton (89), Ryan Theriot (83) and James Adduci (75).

Brett is also a very patient hitter at the plate in college his lowest on base percentage came as a freshman in 2007 … Jackson hit .230/.382/.279. Jackson’s next two years in college were much better. In 2008 he hit .307/.404/.441 and in 2009 he improved even more .321/.410/.564.

Despite only playing in 53 minor league games last year Jackson scored 50 runs.

It is safe to say that Brett has already opened some eyes. He played three games in rookie league, 24 at Boise and then was promoted to Peoria. In 211 total minor league at bats last year he hit .318/.418/.488 with a .906 on base plus slugging percentage. Jackson had 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts, and hit eight home runs (seven in Peoria). He showed great patience at the plate like he did in college.

Brett Jackson was in Spring Training with the Cubs this year, and although he only had one hit (a triple) he walked four times, scored three runs and ended with a .333/.750/1.000 … in very limited playing time.

Depending on how he does in minor league camp, I could see him skipping High A Daytona and going right to AA Tennessee. The Cubs may not want to rush him at the beginning of the season, so they could start him in Peoria or Daytona. After three years playing in college, Brett is pretty polished, he might be ready for the majors as soon as 2011 … but 2012 is more likely. If he picks up where he left off last year, I expect him to move through the farm system pretty quickly.

What do I expect from Brett Jackson? Based on a small sample size, he will likely hit for average with a solid on-base percentage … lots of doubles and his speed will help him hit his share of triples, 15-20 homeruns and 20-40 stolen bases.

If you haven’t read the profile on Darwin Barney here’s the link. Stay tuned for more prospect profiles, posted on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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