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Jim Furtado
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Austin Jackson Newsbeat

Friday, November 20, 2015


Alfonso Soriano may also be available.

The brand name: Dexter Fowler
The substitute: Austin Jackson

Perhaps Fowler’s not at the forefront of this free-agent market, in general, but—especially now that Colby Rasmus has accepted the Astros’ qualifying offer—Fowler is at the forefront of the center-field market, in particular. With a career OBP of .363, Fowler is a worthwhile investment, though scouts do wonder if it’s high time he move to an outfield corner, where his offensive skill set isn’t quite as valuable.

There are other potential value buys beyond Fowler, but you’ve got to be at least a little concerned about the condition of Denard Span’s hip following surgery, and Gerardo Parra’s once-dazzling defense was decidedly less so in his time in Baltimore, which worries some scouts and clubs.

Jackson’s value is inherently tied to the length of his forthcoming contract. If you can get him on a one-year deal, he has the potential to provide tremendous bang per buck (especially if he looks at next year’s free-agent outfield class, as Rasmus did, and is motivated to get to the top of that market). Jackson’s defense isn’t what it once was, but he’s still capable of more-than-adequate coverage in center field. The bet here is on a 29-year-old who is three seasons removed from a .300/.377/.479 slash line making gains in productivity with the right tutelage. Jackson’s ground-ball rate climbed about 10 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, but his hard-hit percentage rose four points. If he can get his walk rate where it once was, Jackson can again be an impactful offensive presence.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, austin jackson, dae ho lee, free agents, j.a. happ



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