|No. 4 — Drew Jackson, SS
|Acquired: Fifth Round, 2015 Draft — Stanford
Jackson is a terrific athlete with plus to plus-plus speed, but more importantly the Stanford product knows how to use that speed and also has well above-average lateral quickness he utilizes in the field to serve as an above-average defender at shortstop.
The above description is typical of the Jose Reyes-sized athlete — under six feet, and around 175-180 pounds — but Jackson offers size and strength, too at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. While defense, athleticism, pure speed and terrific baserunning instincts lead the way, Jackson showed better at the plate in pro ball than for nearly all of his career in Palto Alto.
Despite his size and strength, Jackson possesses a swing more reminiscent of Gabriel Noriega than ideal. OK, that was a bit harsh and a bit of hyperbole, but the swing is a bit flat and his front arm tends to stiffen at times, limiting leverage, bat speed and plate coverage. That swing isn’t likely to take him beyond the Cal League but the arm bar can be fixed rather easily and at least Jackson has some at-bats of his own study where he avoided the flaw. As for the swing plane, this can be trickier, but even as a no-power, .275 hitter with a league-average on-base mark, Jackson’s speed and defense are plenty good to get him to the big leagues if the former is adjusted to allow for more use of the field and sustained contact rates.
Jackson will jump to full-season ball, likely landing at Class-A Clinton with a chance to move to Bakersfield rather quickly.