Patrick Teale

Here's a scouting report on Staten Island Yankees outfielder Jhalan Jackson.

The Yankees selected outfielder Jhalan Jackson in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Florida Southern University. He had a solid professional debut season this year with the Staten Island Yankees and he's one of the few college position players with significant long-term upside too.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jhalan Jackson
Position: Outfield
DOB: February 12, 1993
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Everything begins and ends with Jackson's already above average big league power to all fields. It plays to a plus level to the pull side too where his home runs don't just leave the park but exit in impressive fashion and power-wise there is little doubt he has legitimate long-term big league potential.  In fact, he doesn't need to tap his power potential like most minor leaguers; it already exists!  He isn't just a swing or miss slugger either though, there is some hitting potential as well.  He shows decent patience at the plate, enough to work his way on via the walk, and his bat speed is a true plus tool so he has the ability to look offspeed first and adjust to the fastball.  Like most sluggers, however, he is susceptible to better breaking pitches out of the strike zone and he's a bit more of a natural pull-hitter than the Yankees would like at the current time, and that combination doesn't always allow him to be the more consistent hitter he could be. 

Base Running and Speed. Built like a slugger, Jackson is far more athletic and has more raw speed than opposing teams realize, and he uses that deceptive quickness to his advantage on the base paths.  He isn't a burner by any means but, an average runner overall, he does have the requisite speed to approach double-digit stolen bases in a given season if he can get on base consistently enough [and if he's not hitting for extra-bases right out of the batter's box too often].  He can have a positive impact in the running game.

Defense. It is Jackson's athleticism that allows him to be a very solid defender in right field.  He has above average arm strength and has flashed a pretty accurate arm too in the early going, enough to prevent runners from taking the extra base.  While he doesn't have the greatest first burst jumps on balls, he does have a lot of make-up speed that allows him to cover the gaps pretty well too.  He is a big league average defender in the corner outfield spots at mimimum and often times it will play a level or two higher on certain plays.

Projection. With average running speed and average or better defensive abilities too, Jackson isn't just a one-tool player, he can help out in a number of ways.  It is his special power potential, however, that gives him true game-changing potential.  There are zero question marks about his power too so the game plan for now is to put him in the best position to succeed and make optimal use of his power, and that means transforming him into more of a complete hitter.  He has the foundation in place to do just that -- better than advertised plate patience, plus bat speed, etc -- it's just something he will need to continue to work on in the coming years, especially with his plate discipline and pitch recognition.  There are some legitimate comparisons to current top Yankee prosepct Aaron Judge abilities-wise and from a tools standpoint outside of the natural difference in size [although Jackson is still a very big man in his own right].  If Jackson can learn to not worry about crushing the ball and employ more of a hit-first mentality like Judge then he could begin to tap some of his immense potential as a heart of the order big league slugger. 

ETA. 2018. While Jackson's power says his game is advanced enough to skip the low-A level, the smart money says the Yankees employ the Aaron Judge plan with Jackson in his first full season next year and start him in Charleston.  It would not be surprising, however, if he gets a mid-season promotion to high-A Tampa after he builds on some early season success.

Year Team AVG AB 2B HR RBI R SB BB SO OBP SLG OPS
2015 Staten Island .266 177 14 5 34 35 4 16 59 .338 .452 .790

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