Brett Jackson should be the starting center fielder on Opening Day. That’s the good news. The bad news is the Cubs have already said the good news isn’t the most likely to happen news. The Cubs have said Jackson will start 2013 in Triple-A. Thanks for getting my hopes up, good news! Okay, the not-as-good-as-good news but still good depending on how much you can lie to yourself, Jackson should start the year with the Cubs. Yeah, “should” gets C grades, almost gets into the state school, decides college isn’t for “should” and ends up working at its mother’s knitting store selling cat patterns to the mothers of its high school ex-girlfriends and “should” is played by Todd Louiso in a story about its life. So, an April ETA, breaking camp is out of the question for Brett Jackson, but still what can we expect from him in 2013 fantasy baseball?
In Triple-A last year, Jackson hit 15 homers with 27 steals while hitting .256. I’m all for ignoring average, but Jackson showed that he just can’t maintain a terrible strikeout rate (30+) and translate success into the majors. Last year, in his espresso cup of coffee in the majors, he hit .175 in 120 ABs. (Bee tee dubya, these outlook posts are usually only for players that have rookie eligibility (150 ABs or less), but I’m not sure with Jackson because there’s a sub-rule about 45 days on a major league roster eliminating rookie eligibility. I would know if he were eligible, if the MLB didn’t have five different subsections of sub-rules followed by ten footnotes about the five previous rules. Did David Foster Wallace write the MLB rookie eligibility rules?) Jackson won’t hit above .240 if he can’t cut his K-rate. There’s a place for a guy that can hit 12-15 homers, steal 25+ bases and hit .240. Drew Stubbs comes to mind. But if the Cubs stay true to not playing Jackson out of Spring Training, then there’s no reason to draft him in redraft leagues in the spring. I could see a June call-up and a line of 25/9/30/.230/15 in 300 ABs. Definitely worth a NL-Only and keeper league flyer, but in most mixed leagues, we’ll wait until June to grab him off waivers. And by “we’ll” I mean you and me. No, not the you sitting behind you. You you!