New stance has Cubs, Brett Jackson confident he'll hit this season

New stance has Cubs, Brett Jackson confident he'll hit this season
Left: New stance. Right: Old stance

We've said it here before many times.  Brett Jackson has almost everything the Cubs want in a player.  He's athletic, he can run, he can defend, he's willing to grind out ABs, and he can hit with some occasional power.  He showed he could do all of those things in his brief call up last season.

Jackson showed range and fearlessness in CF last year, grading out as slightly above average in a small sample (2.5 UZR/150) and infamously crashing into the wall in Pittsburgh.  He stole 27 bases at Iowa and showed good speed and instincts on the bases as a Cub, walked at a 15.5% rate, and put up a solid .167 ISO.

But there were those strikeouts, something he did in astonishing 41.5% of his plate appearances.  Despite an MLB average BABIP of .298, Jackson hit just .175 -- simply because he didn't put the ball in play often enough to make it matter.  The inability to make enough contact threatened to undermine Jackson, negating everything else he can do on a baseball diamond.

But Jackson has one other thing the Cubs value highly -- a strong mental makeup.  He didn't make excuses.  He went right to work this offseason with hitting coach James Rowson and manager Dale Sveum, who was once a hitting coach himself.  They decided to make some adjustments, lower his hands and shortening his swing.

"It has to do with using more of my top hand," Jackson said of the changes. "I'm a right-hand dominant athlete, and I have a tendency to try to overdo it a little bit with my bottom hand. If you watch swings from last year, you know my back elbow was getting really high and causing kind of like a teetering effect and making me slightly late on everything.

You can see the difference in the pictures above.  The left is a picture taken this spring.  On the right are a couple of different views of the stance that Jackson has had since college.  The difference in the height of his elbow is significant and keeping it low should help keep his swing shorter to the baseball.

"Now, I'm working on just keeping my back elbow down and being shorter to the ball, amongst other things, but that's the biggest adjustment," he said.

Here's a couple of pictures of Jackson starting his load, notice how high he brings his elbows up.

The expectation is that a lower starting point for his elbow in his stance will help him keep it down as he loads.  It's hard to imagine that he could catch up from his current starting point to the level he's raised it to in the past.  The hope is that it will force him to be shorter, more efficient to the ball.  Jackson should have enough strength and bat speed to maintain his power.

Sveum is cautiously optimistic.

"I think it's going to benefit him a lot," Sveum said of the changes. "A lot of these things, you're optimistic about change and making adjustments and stuff, and as a player, you really want the games to get going because it all feels great, but how's it going to work in a game? That's the final piece of the puzzle."

We can only hope.  Right now Jackson and Szczur are the only true CF's on the roster.  Sczcur is at least 2 years away and the Cubs are going to start with David DeJesus in CF, possibly platooning him with either Dave Sappelt or Scott Hairston. All are considered corner outfielders.

What's more, top prospect Albert Almora is also a CF and may someday bump Jackson to a corner. That is going to put even more burden on that bat.  For his part, Jackson seems confident that he'll hit in the majors.

"It's become natural at this point and it's something I have to stay on top of, but every hitter will tell you that," he said. "I think the learning process is you learn what works and what doesn't and what adjustments you need to make. That's what the end of last year allowed me to discover about myself as a hitter, so I was able to make those adjustments in the offseason. I can be a force at the plate instead of battling as I did."

With all his physical skills and mental makeup, if he can be a force at the plate, then we should be talking about Jackson as another core piece by this time next season.

Filed under: Spring Training

Tags: Brett Jackson

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  • He has lots of time to go slowly and get his act together. No rush.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. Send him to AAA, hopefully he's ready by June.

  • Let's hope this adjustment works as well as Rizzo's from last year.

  • In reply to Diggs:

    That would be huge for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Diggs:

    Just for reference, Rizzo struck out 15% less from his first season with the Padres. If Jackson does that he should have a manageble 26% rate, atleast with his plus obp.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    I'd take 26% from Jackson in a heartbeat.

  • Fingers crossed that he tears up Iowa and we see him around the All Star break.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I'm hoping for June but I'll settle for the AS break.

  • He's my pick to breakout this year. I think most Cub fans have soured on him. But I also think if Rizzo had come up and failed as a Cub, fans would have soured on him as well. Rizzo shortened his swing and look at the results. I'm hoping for similar success with Jackson.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    That's a good point. Wonder how Cubs fans would have felt if Rizzo if he struggled here instead of SD

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's easy. He'd be in pretty much every trade scenario Cubs fans have come up with this offseason like Vitters and Bjax were. Even if it didn't make sense for them to even be in the deal.

    Chicago, eh?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    True! And don't forget Rafael Dolis, some fans want to get rid of him too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's the Cubs stigma... Which I think some of it might be provoked by the media. I liken it to Starlin Castro or Alfonso Soriano. Castro came up as such a young player that he was bound to make mistakes and we've all had the opportunity to witness most of them. So much was made last year of the play in which he forgot how many outs there were. I realize it was a pretty big blunder and it wasn't the first time something like that had happened, but fans and the media were ready to trade the poor kid right then and there. I also believe that play cost him the starting spot in the all star game. There is no way Furcal was the better shortstop but at the time Castro was associated with his mistakes even though I'm pretty sure he had better numbers at the time. And it's the same sort of thing with Soriano. He had the stigma of a poor fielding, lazy outfielder with a not so great attitude. Did he do a whole lot to deserve that? Not really. But it is especially easy for the media and fans to focus on the negative when things are not going well. I guess that's part of what comes along with a losing franchise. The great thing is the new front office is making every effort to change that mindset. Soriano is talked about as a great teammate. Both Castro and Soriano have made huge strides in improving their defense. I think it is underappreciated how well Sveum kept that clubhouse together despite a 101 loss season. Imagine the chaos last year with the lack of control back when Dusty had been managing or think about the blowup had Big Z been pitching when Castro made his mental mistake. I think the clubhouse mads significant strides last year in showing "The Cub way". I think it's just a matter of time before we follow suit and focus less on the negative and more on the positive.

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    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Well said!

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Agreed on all counts. I think the media sometimes affects perception. Behind the scenes Soriano was always considered a hard worker yet the perception was that he was lazy. I'm glad that finally changed this season. I do think this front office and Sveum had played a large role there. Them coming in, respected as they are, and giving us a different view really helped turn things around -- and Sveum did a great job with that clubhouse. He's a good leader, players seem to really respect him.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Heres One question Id liked asked about ANY media types-what makes them EXPERTS????

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I love that you brought up Rafael Dolis. I don't understand how with the huge deficit we have had in live arms in the recent past that anyone could want to give up on him after such a short time. I do have to wonder, how would former prospects such as Correy Patterson and Felix Pie had done with this orginization and their patient approach to development as opposed to the old regime, which rushed anyone who showed a glimpse.

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    Nice article, John. It's also nice to see the pictures of his new stance instead of waiting for the games to begin.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thank JW. The pictures really make it easy. Ive been trying to visualize this whole time.

  • If this re-work works, then I think this brings added credibility to the FO on down to through the system that they can build from w/in in multiple ways.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Yes...even teach and develop at the MLB level.

  • i have confidence in this kid , My 2 picks to click in the next 12 months , Brett Jackson and Logan Watkins .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I hope so. Watkins is going to be a favorite if he hits. Loved watching him play at Tennessee last year. He'll be popular with fans that like things like OBP and defense -- and he'll also be popular with fans who like grinder types. Athletic with a good approach... and gritty to boot...what's not to like?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    With all the RH bats expected to be in our "full-homegrown" fantasy line-up i'd like it a lot if Jackson and Watkins could join Rizzo in there to balance out the future lineup with LH bats.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Watkins has a tougher path. He will have to beat out Barney in the short term, which is no sure thing. I like Watkins ability to take a walk and that extra base pop, but Barney's elite D makes him an average big league regular overall...and most prospects never reach that level. I'm a huge Watkins fan, but he's got his work cut out for him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Doesn't Watkins play a respectable Centerfield. Maybe a nice utility player, Derosa lite.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    If he can't win the 2B job outright, he's going to make a very good utility guy. He can play CF, hold his own at SS, probably even has the arm to play 3B. I'm sure he can play LF and RF as well. He can run, he hits LH with a little pop, gets on base. He's a ballplayer and I'll be surprised if he isn't a MLB player, whether it's a starter at 2B or an excellent utility player.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You didn't even mention Watkins in the discussion for the 25th man... Should we assume there is no chance of that happening?

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    He's ticketed for Iowa. Cub like their players to play at AAA first and Watkins is more of a level-to-level guy anyway. He's also LH and I think they prefer a RH. I think he's got a great shot at making the team in 2014. Not sure he'll challenge Barney for a starter quite yet, but I'd be surprised if he didn't make it as a utility guy.

    It seems like our 25th man poll is right as far as Sveum is concerned. He prefers Lillibridge and even had a say in bringing him in.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    does Watkins have enough arm to play 3b?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    You just picked 2 of favorites in the system. I am a big believer in Watkins and I really hope Jackson can fix his swing. Both are the types that helps teams win championships.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    life growing up around scouts . Seriously i was honored to spend time with Harry Dorish and He taught me more in a couple years than most are blessed in a lifetime . Wonderful man who happened to be the lead scout in on me. Watkins is the type of player every world series team has 2 or 3 of . Jackson is the same with better tools , If the Cubs can get these 2 kids in Wrigley producing Barney will be an after thought amd DeJesus will be back in RF till traded .

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    These are the kind of tweaks/adjustments Jackson should have been given in extended ST years ago like were seeing now with Soler, Baez, Almora, etc. I really like how this coaching staff does things the right way. I just wish some of our past prospects could have received this kind of instruction. How good would Corey Patterson, Rich Hill, or even Felix Pie be right now.

    Lets hope it's not too late for Vitters and Jackson. I guess that's why i've been more lenient with them than most. Neither received much instruction coming up and now they are so for me they are pretty still in the development stage and I can give them a mulligan for another year or 2.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I was looking for pics and he had that elbow high even in his Cal days. You're probably right that these Cubs would have addressed it sooner. Then again, he had so much success early in his career that I can see why they didn't want to mess with it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think that was the problem with the previous regime. Their philosophy was "If he putting up numbers, leave him alone" regardless of whether he had holes that would be taken advantage of later.
    Soler, Baez, and Almora all raked last year but were still seeing this FO tweak with them whether it be a mechanical adjustment or mental approach to try and nullify as many flaws as possible for when they eventually get to that level where physical ability won't guarantee dominance and pitchers will be able to exploit holes.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    When they were tweaking Soler's stance in instructs already, I remember thinking the same thing. Would the Cubs have worked with it after he held his own in his first season? Probably not.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    It is extremely hard to convence a young player to change from an approach that has been successful.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. The batter has to fully accept they have a problem and that more of the same isn't the answer.

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    Here's hoping it works. I like Jackson.
    It seems like a pretty big change, which may work better than a minor one. Seems like if it was a minor adjustment, it'd be easy to fall back into old habits, but that's a completely different stance.

    Hopefully, he won't have to think about it anymore after a while...

  • In reply to brober34:

    He says it's becoming natural, which is key. I agree. Once he stops thinking about it then he'll be okay.

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    This sounds encouraging....I have been a skeptic on B-Jax fixing this problem, because so many players have tried and failed to address a problem with excessive Ks. Worse, he has every other tool, but this one problem will derail a major league career.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I'm still a skeptic. Still, can't hurt to give AAA a shot. I'll be watching the K numbers above all else.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Contact rate is really, really hard to fix. Some have done it (Jim Edmonds comes to mind) but that's the exception more than the norm. If I had to be on someone, though, I'd bet on Jackson to beat the odds.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I remember Jackson saying Edmonds was one of the players he models his game after, so hopefully he can follow him in that too.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Would like to add that even if he continues to K alot, if he can just get it under control enough to maintain a .800+ OPS .250avg, 20+hr, 20+SB, 30+ 2B with lots of walks like he was on pace to do at AAA, he'll be a very solid player.

    He doesn't have to cut the K's in half to be successful like some past players had to because he does everything else so well.

  • have faith , He will be killing the ball late this year.

  • Watkins will make everyone forget real quick about Darwin Barney too after Barney is dealt at the deadline. those are my 2 Nostrodomus predictions for 2013 . (Hope I am correct )

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    As I was telling Marcel, that's not going to be easy. Barney has the value of league average 2B. May not sound like much but most prospects never sniff that, so he is going to have to battle a guy who has already experienced MLB success...and works just as hard and wants it just as much as he does. And this is coming from a guy who has liked Watkins pretty much since the time he was drafted. Nothing against him at all but Cubs consider Barney a core player right now, so Watkins is going to have to come in and take it from him.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I agree with you. I think those 2 predictions will come true in 2013, but we don't need to trade Barney. We can use him as the utility guy unless of course we get blown away with an offer.

    I am also hoping that A. Cabrera will be able to do in 2013 what Shark did last year. That is go from an inconsistent bullpen arm to a good young SP.

  • This is all good to hear - although I'll be convinced once I see it put into effective practice.

    If Jackson can consistently keep the batting average over 0.250-0.260 and maintain the BB rate he seems to have, pop maybe 20 HR & 30 2B hits in a typical year and not lose anything else he showed last season,... he'll be exactly what the Cubs need in CF,... probably come June,...

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    No doubt. He has to do it against live pitching before we get too excited.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yep,... Live and Major League quality piitching will get whether or not he has 'fixed' much of that problem fast enough.

    Then - consistency - like in just about any other skill - will come with practice & repetitions.

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    I'm a Jackson fan, and I hope it works but right now I'm pessimistic. He struck out 50% of the time at the MLB level. Its an outrageously high number, although admittedly a small sample size.

    But if he can get it down to even 30%, his other skills will bring him around.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think 30% is realistic. We're talking about PAs instead of ABs so he was closer to 40% last year

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Fair enough.

    Have was striking out a lot at AAA last year as well, which is a big reason for by guarded skepticism. But I think he's probably faster than Almora, so I'd be way excited to see improvement.

  • Optimistic here. Jackson, with his makeup (plus other skills even HE won't want to waste), is a kid I believe in (future LF). Vitters not.

  • I really want to believe in Jackson going Rizzo in 2013, and you guys almost have me buying in. It's just that Rizzo had been dominant in the minors in a way that Jackson never has.

    The most I can hope for is that Jackson's adjustments are enough to turn him into a .235 hitter with above average power for his position, which would be enough to make him the starter in 2014, at which time maybe he creeps over the .250 mark, then shows 20 HR pace, at which time I'd want to sell high on him, because I would still have doubts about whether Jackson would be able to sustain that production while at the same time being a plus-defender in CF. With cost-control, he'd be a great value to cost-conscious team with a deep farm system. I've got the same view on Vitters: a prospect to showcase for other teams, rather than a fixture on our future lineup.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Jackson is a different player though and he'll never be the hitter or power guy that Rizzo is. We want him to go Rizzo, but it would be on a smaller scale.

    As for Jackson long term, I suppose it will be on how much he improves. Assuming he stays a Cub, he's probably going to eventually move to a corner, so the bar will be higher for that bat. At the same time, I'm hanging on to him at least until I'm sure Almora is ready to take over. As we saw this offseason, young CFs can be quite valuable so I wouldn't feel comfortable trading him until I was sure they had MLB quality depth. And even at that poiont, if he's hitting well enough to carry a corner position, then I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable trading him at all given everything he brings.

  • If Jackson, and that's a big if, can cut down on his strikeouts , that would be huge. At the same time, I'm a little guarded. I kept hearing that Josh Vitters was going to get better and nothing really changed

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Vitters fooled some of the best scouts in the business. Sometimes I wonder if he was really getting better or it was a case of wishful thinking that he just had to get better because there was full expectation he would hit.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think this hits the nail on the head. IMO if Vitters was a 3rd round pick or something and put up the numbers he has through the minors he'd be looked at as a top prospect. But because he was #3 overall and hasn't played to that standard people think he's on the down low.

    Do I think that's fair? No. Is it his fault he got drafted so high? No. Has he been healthy before last year? Not really.

    First full year in AAA as a 23yr old he put up better than solid numbers and did improve(even if just a little) on defense. He hasn't really had a bad full year in the minors to date.

    Were all ecstatic that Darwin Barney has become a league average 2nd Basemen but if Josh Vitters becomes that he'd still be considered a failure by most. See what I mean?

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Would also like to point out that scouts specifically said when on drafted that he was very talented and had the potential to hit 3rd + play solid, but not great, defense. The key was that he was only 17 and needed good, fundamental instruction to reach that potential(as with most HS draftees).

    Couldn't find the draft day but that was the consensus. He needed instruction to to be that guy and we all know he never got it.

    I could go on for days why I think Vitters has been developed poorly and been a victim of his draft slot. Like I said, if he was a 3rd RD pick and had the potential to be a league average 3B, we'd all be up in arms over what he's done the last few years.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Actually, I thought he has progressed with the bat.....granted PCL is a notorious hitters league, but he was young for AAA last year, and had a fine season

    Bigger problem with Vitters as prospect, IMO, is that he hasnt' developed defensively, or added power. You need to do one or the other to make it in majors, but at this point he's almost a bat-only prospect who doesn't have quite enough bat.

    If he could field 3B like Christian Villanueva, we would be pretty excited. But because he can't, he's more like the second coming of David Kelton

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Exactly. The two things you mentioned(improving defensively and adding power) were things scouts said on draft day that he would develop if "Given proper instruction". He did not receive that so we got the result of it.

    A part of me thinks he would benefited, development wise, from going to college first and becoming a more complete player so he wouldn't have to rely on our Player Development as much, especially considering it was terrible back then.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think those are all good points. I didn't mean to imply that he hasn't improved at all. If he didn't, there would be no way he'd be as successful as he was at AAA. Just wondering if there was some lag time in the perception of Vitters progress. In retrospect he may not have been progressing as quickly as expected --and perceived-- early in his career.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That expected/perceived progress was always contingent on the level of instruction he received, as said by the scouts, doesn't surprise me at all that he's progressed slowly up till he got to AA. Numbers been solid ever since.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I saw Vitters back in Peoria and really wasn't impressed. I still am not.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That would make you the exception to the rule. Back then a great majority of scouts thought he was a future all-star -- and that sentiment was echoed by prospect gurus like Law, Goldstein, and Callis. When asked once who was the guy that he really thought was going to be a star but hasn't lived up to expectations, Law's response was Vitters.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, to me Vitters problem is in his head. He lacks confidence, plain and simple. Im not sure you can fix that problem overnight, unless someone knows how to turn the light on with him. Sort of a shame, Vitters does have a quick bat and even decent footwork, but doesn't seem to respond well to coaching.

  • I'm rooting for Jackson to make the adjustments. I've always liked his hustle, but It would be huge for the Cubs.

    Funny thing, these pictures remind me of my sons 12U travel team (2006). Our coach (Scott Hennessy) used to teach this to the kids at that level. Granted, Scott is a former pro player who coached 2 JUCO National Championships, and won 3 state titles for ACD (Baez's HS), and he is now a scout in the Dodgers organization...but still, these adjustments should have been taught to B-Jax years ago.

    Gotta love the new FO's "Cub's way!"

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. I was taught at a very young age to keep my elbows low -- but I can't speak for Jackson on that. I'm not a big guy with power, so my role was to make contact and get on base. I had an exceptional coach early in little league. Taught me the stance and to be selective, stuff I would use for as long as I played baseball.

  • So much of hitting is confidence and Jackson seems to believe in his new improved swing. He is thinking of being a 'force' now. I like his chances.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    That's something I think isn't talked about enough when it comes to hitting and adjustments. You have to be confident in what your doing to avoid going back to bad habits when things go wrong sometimes.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed on all counts.

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    If Jackson puts up the line that people keep throwing out there: 250 AVG, 20 Home Runs, 30 Steals, Above Average Defense and a high OBP... isn't that considered not just a solid player, but a really good one? Those seem like numbers in the ballpark of a player like Bourne

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    In reply to Demarrer:

    In CF that would be a borderline all-star level player, which up until last year everyone was very confident Jackson could be. He still can if he puts a handle on the K's.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    The average will hold his OBP down a bit but I do think it's a potentially very good player in CF and a solid one if he has to eventually move to LF.

  • More than a bit off immediate topic here,... but just read that K. Wood has been brought onboard by the Cubs as a Pitching Instructor / Mentor for Spring Training.

    http://cubbiescrib.com/2013/02/12/kerry-wood-assumes-new-role-as-cubs-spring-instructor/

    How good could Wood have been IF he could have just stayed healthy,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Always good to see Woody around the game!

  • ****Updated photo at top*****
    Tried to catch stance at more similar points. Kept previous pics in the body of the article to show how high he brought elbows up during load.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    When I saw the photo of the old stance, I thought I was seeing young George Brett in a Cubs uniform. It looked like George's classic stance, that led his getting over 3000 hits.
    (By the way, George' first season gave no indication that he would be a HOFer. Great one-to-one instruction by the late Charley Lau helped George mature as a hitter. I like Rowson in that capacity.)
    But while (George) Brett thrived in that stance, our Brett (Jackson) has had to adapt. Hope our Brett has turned it around !

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Very true. Brett improved by leaps and bounds between his first call-up to first full season and his breakout 2nd full season. And he didn't really hit for power until his 4th full season. He just kept adding to his game as he matured.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Not only G Brett. Lau also turned around Hal McRaes career by getting him to quit pulling everything and putting the ball in play. I do remember Ted Williams was no fan of Laus theories on hitting.

  • Good pics. I have always been skeptically of the high elbow load because it often produces a longer swing. It works for some and may add power. Solder, Baez, and Almora all have it or had it. Soler's approach reminds me of Rondell White, who could rake if one could get him out of the dugout.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. Very few players can get away with a load where you bring that back elbow up so hgh.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I just talked to a kid last night about dropping his hands among other things. But that is taught at the lower levels and players get use to it.

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    I wonder if he's still going to have that delayed leg kick. That adjustment he made last year worked out well for him. If I remember correctly he was hitting pretty good until the injury and I think it was because they had him delaying his leg kick.

  • For the record, I really like Jackson's skillset and I am rrting for him as a fan.

    As an outsider looking in, I am highly skeptical, as tinkering with a players swing is a risky proposition at this stage of his development.

    At this point, I believe that Jackson will be a fringe player at best, as he does have some appealing skills, but staying above the Mendoza line will most likely be difficult endeavor.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Skepticism is definitely warranted in this case. Overcoming contact issues is probably one of the toughest things for a hitter to do -- even harder than learning plate discipline, in my opinion. I saw the other day where Law now considers him a 4th OF'er type. I'm going with Sveum and his cautious optimism. I want to see him hit against live pitching -- and I'm not going to worry about his average so much as how frequently and how hard he makes contact this spring. I don't want to see a high, but empty average with lots of swings and misses...nor will I be concerned if he hits for a low average but is squaring up the ball frequently.

  • I am agreed with Jackson starting in Iowa and being brought along on the 2012 Rizzo Plan.

    But wouldn't it be great if Vitters could take over 3B this spring?

  • The skills are certainly important, but what impresses me with Brett Jackson is his mental makeup. I remember telling my girlfriend before the season started that Jeff (S) is the type of guy I think is going to succeed, because of his dedication to the craft, his ability to ask thoughtful questions, and the ability to take constructive criticism and apply it.

    In short, he is just one of those really smart, really dedicated people, and it shows.

    I read the recent article about Zach Grienke being a "baseball junkie". Asking if a pick would have to be gave up for Lohse if he waited until after the draft to sign. Guys like Greg Maddux come to mind that fit that mold.

    Brett Jackson is one of those guys in my opinion. I think the big thing will be him not "overthinking" before he has a chance to figure out what works for him.

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