• Tigers More Than Happy To Have Austin Jackson

    Posted by on March 28th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Via the Detroit Free Press:

    Austin Jackson’s smile stretched from here to Kansas City.

    He had just left the workout room after Saturday’s game, and a reporter had told him, “Jim Leyland said that today’s lineup will be the Opening Day lineup. That means you’ll be starting the season and your career when you step in to face Zack Greinke.”

    Jackson, 23, was asked to put into words the smile he unfurled when he pondered leading off his career by leading off the season.

    “It’s one of those things you dreamt about forever,” he said.

    Jackson, the one position player obtained in the Curtis Granderson trade, will succeed Granderson at leadoff and in centerfield.

    “I took the trade as motivation,” Jackson said Saturday. “Whether they (the Yankees) traded me because they didn’t think I’d be ready or they wanted Curtis, whatever the reason might be, I took it as an opportunity.

    “I started to train a lot harder because I knew that if I got this opportunity, I was going to take advantage of it,” Jackson said. “I started getting more serious about getting up early and working out. I started eating a lot of better foods to have energy throughout the day. I cut out a lot of fast food. I was in the batting cage a lot more.

    “I studied tape of a lot of good hitters: Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada, Alex Rodriguez and a lot of Derek Jeter.

    “I know I’m not going to hit like them, but it’s good to see they all get to a good hitting position. That was the main thing, seeing that they all have similarities when they hit.”

    Spring games indicate that Jackson, a right-handed hitter, has begun to solve his strikeout problem. He fanned once every four at-bats last season in Triple-A. He has struck out once every seven at-bats this spring.

    “He hasn’t swung at bad balls,” Leyland said.

    That’s just one way Jackson has impressed the manager.

    “He’s a very bright kid,” Leyland said. “He’s made a wonderful impression.”

    “Is he going to struggle? Yes,” Leyland said. “He’s going to struggle some like all players do, particularly young ones.

    “He’s the Opening Day centerfielder, and he’s going to lead off, and he’s going to get a good opportunity to break in. I feel real good about it. I’m very impressed. I like him a lot.”

    Could the Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson swap go down in history as Brian Cashman’s version of Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps? At times, I still find myself having that vibe.

    Comments on Tigers More Than Happy To Have Austin Jackson

    1. Evan3457
      March 28th, 2010 | 11:22 am

      That vibe is irrational. There is no logical basis for it.

      Let’s say that Jackson becomes an All-Star caliber player for the Tigers, and that Granderson doesn’t reverse his decline of the last two years.

      Even in that highly unlikely scenario, this trade STILL bears no comparison to the Buhner/Phelps deal, because Phelps was a non-athletic, 32 1/2 year old DH when the Yankees traded for him. Granderson is in the middle of his prime, a much more athletic player, and one who plays a key defensive position, and plays it well.

      The Yanks in 1988 were desperately trying to patch holes by trading youth for veterans. This Yankee team has just won a title and is positioned for another title run.

      It is far more likely that Granderson is similar to Scott Brosius, coming off a year when he hit .197 when the Yanks traded for him, or Mike Lowell, coming off a year when he hit .236 when the Sox took his contract as a throw-in on the Beckett-Ramirez deal.

      There’s laconic, there’s refusing to wear rose-colored glasses, and then there’s seeing gremlins on the wing of the plane when they almost certainly aren’t there, Mr. Wilson. ;)

    2. March 28th, 2010 | 4:22 pm

      @ Evan3457:

      So, if Curtis Granderson is run out of Yankeeland in three years or less, and if Austin Jackson plays the next 6 years in Motown, well, making a few All-Star teams in the process, you wouldn’t consider this deal to be as bad as Buhner for Phelps?

    3. Corey Italiano
      March 28th, 2010 | 4:23 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, if Curtis Granderson is run out of Yankeeland in three years or less, and if Austin Jackson plays the next 6 years in Motown, well, making a few All-Star teams in the process, you wouldn’t consider this deal to be as bad as Buhner for Phelps?

      Then they’ll trade Heathcott for ‘em! :P

    4. MJ Recanati
      March 28th, 2010 | 8:46 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      So, if Curtis Granderson is run out of Yankeeland in three years or less, and if Austin Jackson plays the next 6 years in Motown, well, making a few All-Star teams in the process, you wouldn’t consider this deal to be as bad as Buhner for Phelps?

      If you’re making those the terms then, clearly, no, it’s not a Phelps/Buhner scenario at all. The Yanks probably don’t even expect to keep Granderson around after his contract expires. They’d use that money coming off the books to spend in another spot.

    5. Evan3457
      March 29th, 2010 | 12:53 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      So, if Curtis Granderson is run out of Yankeeland in three years or less, and if Austin Jackson plays the next 6 years in Motown, well, making a few All-Star teams in the process, you wouldn’t consider this deal to be as bad as Buhner for Phelps?

      No, and here’s why:

      The Buhner/Phelps was not just a tactical disaster, but a strategic blunder, in that there was pretty much no way it could’ve “worked”. What I mean is this, because of the relative positions, abilities and ages of the players involved, there was almost zero chance the Yankees could have ever come out ahead on the deal, plus it was made by a horsecrap decision-making process.

      The Granderson deal is nothing like that. The Yanks needed a better center fielder. They needed to get younger and faster and better defensively in the outfield, especially in left and center. Those two fields are among the largest outfield areas in the majors.

      The Granderson deal is quite reasonable; the Yanks traded Kennedy, who was surplus to them, even though he might make a quality back end of the rotation starter in the NL. He was never going to get another full chance with the Yanks. So he’s tradeable with no real loss to the team. Phil Coke was also tradeable with no real loss. He’s a decent enough lefty reliever, but nothing special so far. The Tigers are going to try to make him a starter again. Sometimes, that sort of thing works out big-time, but a) the Yanks were never going to make him a starter, and b) as a reliever, he was OK, but not much more than that. Again, no real loss to the team.

      The key here is Jackson. Jackson has a lot of talent, but at that point in his career, his power was regressing, his strike zone judgement was marginal. His minor league equivalent triple slash line for 2009 was .280/.333/.391/.724, which is not bad for a 22-year-old in his first year of AAA, but also not indicative of a budding All-Star, either. His defense and running are good. I read in more than one place that his scouting upside is….Curtis Granderson.

      So why wouldn’t you trade two pieces that are surplus to you plus a prospect who might be Curtis Granderson in 2012 for Curtis Granderson right now?

      That’s what I mean by a solid thought process. The trade was a sound decision. If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work because the Yanks got unlucky. If it turns out like Phelps/Buhner, then they got very unlucky, because there’s nearly no likenesses in the two strategic situations.

    6. BOHAN
      March 29th, 2010 | 1:20 am

      shouldve never gave him up. hes going to be a hell of a ball player. better then granderson in a couple years

    7. March 29th, 2010 | 8:04 am

      BOHAN wrote:

      shouldve never gave him up. hes going to be a hell of a ball player. better then granderson in a couple years

      Only if his power develops. Why do you think he’ll be one hell of a ball player?

    8. clintfsu813
      March 29th, 2010 | 8:06 am

      BOHAN wrote:

      shouldve never gave him up. hes going to be a hell of a ball player. better then granderson in a couple years

      You hit the nail on the head. “In a couple years.” The Yanks did not see Ajax being ML ready this year, and maybe not next. They went out and got a ready, proven guy in his prime to help us now. The Yanks have a legitimate shot at another mini dynasty. After having Grandy for a few years, someone else WILL be available to take over.

    9. March 29th, 2010 | 9:01 am

      [...] individuals that could have helped this season and all three were dealt for Granderson. Jackson was named the starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter in Detroit this weekend. We have to be careful with spring training numbers, but this is how they [...]

    10. BOHAN
      March 29th, 2010 | 3:13 pm

      Brent wrote:

      BOHAN wrote:shouldve never gave him up. hes going to be a hell of a ball player. better then granderson in a couple years Only if his power develops. Why do you think he’ll be one hell of a ball player?

      because ive watched him play and i see the skills in him to be a hell of a player. and the power will be there. once he learns when to let it loose in certain counts hell start hitting hrs.
      @ clintfsu813:
      hes ML ready right now. might not have the power that granderson has but hes going to hit for a better avg then granderson and play a better OF.

    11. clintfsu813
      March 29th, 2010 | 3:27 pm

      Bohan wrote: hes ML ready right now.
      ————————————————————————
      Is this your opinion? It seemed to me that The Yankees Scouts seemed to think differently.

    12. Kamieniecki
      November 13th, 2013 | 9:27 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      shouldve never gave [Jackson] up. hes going to be a hell of a ball player. better then granderson in a couple years…
      ive watched him play and i see the skills in him to be a hell of a player. and the power will be there. once he learns when to let it loose in certain counts hell start hitting hrs.
      @ clintfsu813:
      hes ML ready right now. might not have the power that granderson has but hes going to hit for a better avg then granderson and play a better OF.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work because the Yanks got unlucky.

      … And once again: BOHAN was right, and Cashman was unlucky.

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      After having Grandy for a few years, someone else WILL be available to take over.

      Someone such as a 37-year old Carlos Beltran, asking for three years and approx. $40 mil. Perfect.

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