Q&A with Yankees' 8th Rd Pick, Austin Jackson

One of the most gifted high school players in the country, Austin Jackson may be one of the biggest steals in the draft for the Yankees. The only reason he slipped to the 8th round is also the only reason why the Yankee may have trouble signing him. He's committed to play basketball at Georgia Tech, but the Yankees will do everything they can to lock him up.

PinstripesPlus: Austin, right now, all the talk is about whether you are going to sign with the Yankees or not? Can you shed any light on what the status is of that situation right now?

Austin Jackson: Well, there is a definitely a good chance I'll sign. It isn't true that there is no chance I'm going to sign. There definitely is a good possibility. This is going to be a really tough to decision for me and family to make. It is something we are going to really have to sit down and talk about some more. Honestly, I don't think I'm leaning towards basketball or baseball right now. Like I said, it is going to be one of the toughest decisions I'll ever have to make, but me and family are going to be doing a lot of talking about it. Right now, I am really not ready to make a decision.

PinstripesPlus: We heard before the draft that your hope was that you would be able to play college basketball and baseball in the same year. Is that still a possibility at all or have MLB teams, the Yankees specifically, not bought into it?

Austin Jackson: I originally wanted to do that. I wanted to be able to do both because I really love to play both sports. But, I was given the feeling that no teams really liked that idea. So, no, I don't really think that is an option for me anymore. It just makes the decision even more difficult, but time is running out and I have to make a commitment to one or the other.

PinstripesPlus: As far as your signability is concerned, does it make any difference that it was the Yankees would picked you?

Austin Jackson: I don't really know if the team that picked me made a difference. I think it just comes down to playing baseball or basketball. Of course, being a Yankee is a whole difference case. I've always really liked the Yankees but I just don't think the team I would be on is the main issue.

PinstripesPlus: Coming into the draft, everyone assumed you would slip farther in the draft than you actually did. Were you surprised at all to be picked that high despite the scholarship to play basketball at Georgia Tech?

Austin Jackson: No, I really didn't expect to have my name called that high. I knew the Yankees, along with other teams were interested, but I thought I'd slip a lot more. It was a nice surprise, especially to be picked by the Yankees, still that high despite the risk because of the basketball issue.

PinstripesPlus: Entering the draft, did you have a gut feeling that the team that would most likely pick you would be the Yankees?

Austin Jackson: I definitely knew the Yankees probably were more interested in me than anyone. They had watched a whole lot of my high school games and they had been calling me up a lot to. So, I don't know if I would say I expected them to take me, but in my mind, they were the most interested.

PinstripesPlus: Have you ever considered how much better you could be if your full focus was on baseball?

Austin Jackson: Yeah, I've thought about that quite a bit and people have mentioned it to me a lot also. If I played just baseball, there's no way to tell how good I could be. With all my focus on that, I think I could really excel even beyond what people project that I can do now. I think people are aware of how good I am, but not how good I could be if I just played baseball. So, that's another thing I'll have to consider when I make my decision.

PinstripesPlus: Were you satisfied with your high school season this year?

Austin Jackson: I think I was pressing a little too much this year. I could definitely perform a lot better than I did.

PinstripesPlus: Austin, you attended a pre-draft workout for the Yankees in Tampa. Do you think that effected your status with them quite a bit?

Austin Jackson: From what they've told me, it effected my status quite a bit. I am not sure if it did or not, but from their standpoint, I guess it did.

PinstripesPlus: What MLB player would you best compare yourself to?

Austin Jackson: I'd say Torii Hunter.

PinstripesPlus: It is assumed that this could be a long negotiation process for the Yankees to get you signed. Do you believe that's how it will play out?

Austin Jackson: I don't think it will necessarily be a long negotiation process. If it was up to me, I'd like to decide and get a deal done as soon as possible. But, it might not play out that way depending on how things unfold.

PinstripesPlus: Now, do you think you are leaning at all toward either baseball or basketball?

Austin Jackson: Wow, that's tough. I really don't know. The baseball option is right here in front of me for the taking so it will be tough to turn down. But, I'd be very happy to get a deal done. If me and my family can get what we feel is best, the best option will hopefully be baseball. But, really, it is still up in the air right now.

PinstripesPlus: Have the Yankees and their scouts been tirelessly trying to convince you to play baseball while the staff at Georgia Tech is trying to get you to stick to basketball?

Austin Jackson: Yeah, that has been one of the toughest things. The coaches become your friends and they're really nice and everything. But, at the same time, the scouts and the Yankee organization is trying just as hard to get me to commit to baseball. It is really, really tough.

PinstripesPlus: We asked this same question to another two sport star, Yankees' first round pick, C.J. Henry. Do you think playing basketball has helped your play on the baseball diamond?

Austin Jackson: Yes, definitely. It has helped a lot I think. Athleticism, speed, quickness, all are sharpened by basketball.

PinstripesPlus: What would you say is approach every time you take the field?

Austin Jackson: Well, I'm aggressive but I am laid back at the same time. I go all out whenever I'm on the field and I always want to keep my intensity high. But, I also never lose my a laid back approach and I like to stay relaxed. But, I think the most important thing is that I leave it all out there on the field.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus: Austin, right now, all the talk is about whether you are going to sign with the Yankees or not? Can you shed any light on what the status is of that situation right now?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Well, there is a definitely a good chance I'll sign. It isn't true that there is no chance I'm going to sign. There definitely is a good possibility. This is going to be a really tough to decision for me and family to make. It is something we are going to really have to sit down and talk about some more. Honestly, I don't think I'm leaning towards basketball or baseball right now. Like I said, it is going to be one of the toughest decisions I'll ever have to make, but me and family are going to be doing a lot of talking about it. Right now, I am really not ready to make a decision.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: We heard before the draft that your hope was that you would be able to play college basketball and baseball in the same year. Is that still a possibility at all or have MLB teams, the Yankees specifically, not bought into it?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I originally wanted to do that. I wanted to be able to do both because I really love to play both sports. But, I was given the feeling that no teams really liked that idea. So, no, I don't really think that is an option for me anymore. It just makes the decision even more difficult, but time is running out and I have to make a commitment to one or the other.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: As far as your signability is concerned, does it make any difference that it was the Yankees would picked you?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I don't really know if the team that picked me made a difference. I think it just comes down to playing baseball or basketball. Of course, being a Yankee is a whole difference case. I've always really liked the Yankees but I just don't think the team I would be on is the main issue.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Coming into the draft, everyone assumed you would slip farther in the draft than you actually did. Were you surprised at all to be picked that high despite the scholarship to play basketball at Georgia Tech?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: No, I really didn't expect to have my name called that high. I knew the Yankees, along with other teams were interested, but I thought I'd slip a lot more. It was a nice surprise, especially to be picked by the Yankees, still that high despite the risk because of the basketball issue.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Entering the draft, did you have a gut feeling that the team that would most likely pick you would be the Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I definitely knew the Yankees probably were more interested in me than anyone. They had watched a whole lot of my high school games and they had been calling me up a lot to. So, I don't know if I would say I expected them to take me, but in my mind, they were the most interested.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Have you ever considered how much better you could be if your full focus was on baseball?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Yeah, I've thought about that quite a bit and people have mentioned it to me a lot also. If I played just baseball, there's no way to tell how good I could be. With all my focus on that, I think I could really excel even beyond what people project that I can do now. I think people are aware of how good I am, but not how good I could be if I just played baseball. So, that's another thing I'll have to consider when I make my decision.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Were you satisfied with your high school season this year?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I think I was pressing a little too much this year. I could definitely perform a lot better than I did.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Austin, you attended a pre-draft workout for the Yankees in Tampa. Do you think that effected your status with them quite a bit?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: From what they've told me, it effected my status quite a bit. I am not sure if it did or not, but from their standpoint, I guess it did.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What MLB player would you best compare yourself to?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I'd say Torii Hunter.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: It is assumed that this could be a long negotiation process for the Yankees to get you signed. Do you believe that's how it will play out?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: I don't think it will necessarily be a long negotiation process. If it was up to me, I'd like to decide and get a deal done as soon as possible. But, it might not play out that way depending on how things unfold.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Now, do you think you are leaning at all toward either baseball or basketball?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Wow, that's tough. I really don't know. The baseball option is right here in front of me for the taking so it will be tough to turn down. But, I'd be very happy to get a deal done. If me and my family can get what we feel is best, the best option will hopefully be baseball. But, really, it is still up in the air right now.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Have the Yankees and their scouts been tirelessly trying to convince you to play baseball while the staff at Georgia Tech is trying to get you to stick to basketball?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Yeah, that has been one of the toughest things. The coaches become your friends and they're really nice and everything. But, at the same time, the scouts and the Yankee organization is trying just as hard to get me to commit to baseball. It is really, really tough.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: We asked this same question to another two sport star, Yankees' first round pick, C.J. Henry. Do you think playing basketball has helped your play on the baseball diamond?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Yes, definitely. It has helped a lot I think. Athleticism, speed, quickness, all are sharpened by basketball.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What would you say is approach every time you take the field?
\r\n
\r\nAustin Jackson: Well, I'm aggressive but I am laid back at the same time. I go all out whenever I'm on the field and I always want to keep my intensity high. But, I also never lose my a laid back approach and I like to stay relaxed. But, I think the most important thing is that I leave it all out there on the field.
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