Austin Jackson is one of my favorite players in the game, so I was happy to grab this autograph for $5.
A big reason that I like him was that I saw him play here in Hawaii during the 2007 Hawaiian Winter League. He was good, hitting .271/.368/.489 with 3 HR for Honolulu.
At the time he was already moving up the Yankees prospect charts. He was pretty well thought of:
Post-2005: #5 NY prospect
Post-2006: #18 NY prospect
Post-2007: #2 NY prospect
Post-2008: #1 NY prospect
Post-2009: #3 DET prospect
Overall Jackson has had a really good career, especially for an 8th round pick. He has never been an All-Star, and strikes out a ton, but has managed four seasons of an OPS+ north of 100 and amassed 24.1 career WAR over 8 seasons.
He was pretty great with the Indians in 2017. Signed as an insurance policy for the outfield, he quickly became one of the most consistent hitters on the team. He would end the season with a line of .318/.482/.869 with 7 HR.
I am not holding my breath that he will be back with the Tribe. At 30 he is not super young, but he has probably earned one more decent short contract. That said, the Indians should try. Goodness knows the outfield is not the teams strength, and he was often the one bright spot that they had going on out there for a good part of the season.