Prospect Spotlight

Name: Brett Jackson
Age: 22
How Acquired: Drafted by the Cubs in the 1st round (31st overall) of the 2009 Amateur Draft

This week we shine the light on the top prospect in the system, in my opinion, Brett Jackson. He’s shone brightly to start the year and has many believing that he will be in the Majors sooner than expected. Perhaps as soon as June or July. I’m not ready to go there just yet, but I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of Jackson to this point.

Jackson’s quick bat, loft in his swing and plus speed should make him an annual 20-20 threat in the Majors. He could stand to cut down his strikeouts, but he doesn’t swing and miss as much as some teams feared and should hit for power and average. Jackson gets good reads and jumps, has average arm strength and makes accurate throws. He’s not a true five-tool player or a pure center fielder, but Jackson does a reasonable impression of both. The Cubs are counting on him to crack their lineup in 2012, if not sooner” ~ Pre-2011 Scouting Report on Jackson from Baseball America.

So far, Jackson has hit the ball well and has improved the plate discipline. My only note would be that he’s in AA and not AAA. Not sure why the Cubs left him in AA this year, but my guess is that won’t be for long:

Year     Lev   G  PA   R 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
2010   A+-AA 128 580 103 32 14 12  66 30 11 73 126 .297 .395 .493  .888
2011      AA  15  67  18  4  2  3  11  6  2 12  11 .404 .515 .731 1.246

News & Notes

  • Rafael Dolis left his most recent start early due to a back injury
  • Brian Schlitter was returned to the Cubs after an injury voided the waiver claim of the Yankees and the Phillies
  • Trey McNutt and Jay Jackson both returned from the DL this week. Jackson made his first start of the season and instantly needs to be considered for the empty spot in the Major League rotation.
  • Mark Prior was placed on the AAA DL with a groin injury. Oh wait, he’s not our problem anymore.

What They’re Saying

Each week, Jim Callis and Matt Eddy of Baseball America host a chat for readers to post questions. Here were the Cubs highlights from this week:

Q – When Matt Sczcur signed his contract with the Cubs in January you said if he were available in this draft he would be a first round pick. Now that we have seen the amount of depth in this draft do you still hold this opinion? Thanks

Jim Callis – This draft is loaded. But my point was is Szczur played as well this spring as he did last summer in his pro debut (translate his 347/414/465 line to college and what do you get?), he would have been a first-round pick with his combination of outstanding athleticism and performance. That kind of season and those kind of tools would put him in Mikie Mahtook territory somewhere in the middle of the round.

Q – Best case scenario for Brett Jackson…a healthy Grady Sizemore?

Matt EddyI really [like] Cubs Double-A CF Brett Jackson’s well rounded game, but I think a Sizemore-in-his-prime comp is a bridge too far. I’m tempted to say that Jackson could be a Curtis Granderson type as a lefty hitter who’s athleticism and defensive range might be a bit undersold. Granderson had similar over-the-fence power at Jackson’s age. Oh, and the strikeouts are always going to be part of the package.

This Week’s Discussion

his week, as part of the look at the farm system, I want to list the guys at each position that I root for most from a developmental standpoint. These are guys I really want to see be successful. I’d like to hear yours as well.

C – Steve Clevenger

1b – Rebel Ridling

2b – Bobby Scales

SS – Ryan Flaherty

3B – Marquez Smith

OF – Brett Jackson

OF – Tony Campana

OF – Matt Szczur

SP – Hayden Simpson

RP – John Gaub

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail