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Sunday, September 12, 2021

DeSean Jackson = Mookie Betts? Rams receiver was once a sure-thing MLB prospect

“You just kind of looked at him and went, ‘Wow, it’s too bad he’s not going to play baseball,” said George Horton, former coach at Cal State Fullerton and Oregon. “There was a little bit of raw tools there that made you go back and envision the way Bo Jackson and Anthony Davis played baseball.

“It wasn’t necessarily the smoothest skill and swing and different things like that… The strength and explosion were stuff you can’t teach. And that’s what DeSean was. He was as quick as a cat.”

Had Jackson committed to baseball, he might have been a 2005 first-round draft pick, White said. Jackson said that several teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, expressed interest.

“They wanted me to like give up football and I just couldn’t do it,” Jackson said. “I just looked at it like I can make it to the NFL a little faster than if I had went to MLB.”

Jackson said he has envisioned playing at Dodger Stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 12, 2021 at 09:53 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football, two-sport athletes

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   1. bfan Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:50 AM (#6039390)
Or he is like Donavan Tate, a top 5 draft choice by the Padres who never made it out of AA. He was fast, but really couldn't hit a lick.

I can't wait for the article of how Usain Bolt gave up a hall of fame career just so he could sprint.
   2. Darren Posted: September 13, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6039402)
Wow, that's insulting. Comparing a top football player to a guy who was the water boy for his high school team. ;)
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 13, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6039407)
Another article that claims he was a top 3 round talent and even the 8th overall pick:

https://thatballsouttahere.com/2020/06/10/phillies-desean-jackson-eagles-mlb-draft/

But his high school stats certainly don't indicate he was Mookie Betts: "As a high school senior, Jackson hit .296, stole 25 bases and scored 20 runs on as many hits, while posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on six assists."

If he was considered a first round talent, or even first three rounds, he definitely would have been drafted. Teams would have taken a 25th round flyer on him. Teams use a 25th rounder on football stars who've never played baseball.

   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6039414)
LA Times, January 5, 2005:

Jackson is also an outstanding center fielder on the Poly baseball team. Pete Carroll, football coach at USC, has already assured Jackson he can play baseball too, if he decides to become a Trojan. California, Oklahoma, Louisiana State and Oregon are also on Jackson's short list.

The widely held belief is that Jackson will be selected in the first or second round in Major League Baseball's next amateur draft. "I'm going to have to make a big decision at the end of the year, go to the draft or go to college," Jackson said. "If it's worth it, I might take it."

That "worth" is money, and maybe it's apropos as Jackson is a money player of the most thrilling kind, a speedy game-breaker who scored 15 touchdowns, eight from 60 yards or more, including two punt returns. He might have done even more had Poly not struggled at quarterback.


Perfect Game ranked him the #64 HS baseball prospect, ahead of future big leageurs Justin Smoak, Tyson Ross, and Travis Wood. He played in top showcase tournaments like the Area Code games and the All-American Game. He was going to play both sports at Cal, but after he had a great freshman year on the gridiron, he focused all his attention on football.
   5. 57i66135 right now is attacking rest Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6039435)
couldn't have been worse than shaq thompson.
   6. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6039437)
.296 batting average in high school is not good at all, is it?
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:58 PM (#6039444)
.296 batting average in high school is not good at all, is it?

No. I think most future MLBers hit like .450-.500.

The actual Mookie Betts batted .548 his junior year.
   8. Darren Posted: September 13, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6039447)
Shockingly (to me anyway), Marcelo Mayer, considered by some to be the best in the 2021 draft, hit .261 as a sophomore, .294 as a junior, and .392 as a senior. ???
   9. Itchy Row Posted: September 13, 2021 at 01:42 PM (#6039448)
Shawon Dunston hit .790 as a senior, so Jackson's ceiling was 37% of Shawon Dunston.

Full disclosure: I'm not a scout.
   10. Rally Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6039454)
Thanks Snapper. I would have guessed Mookie hit .650.

If I recall correctly Andrew McCutchen hit over .700 in high school. Hitting .500 seems like the norm for a can’t miss first round type of prospect.
   11. Rally Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6039456)
.709 as a senior
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6039462)
Hitting .500 seems like the norm for a can’t miss first round type of prospect.

I think it's true of most of the guys in the first 10 rounds. Pretty much every major leaguer was a super-star in HS; the best hitter and the best pitcher on their team.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6039468)
I remember people questioning how Johnny Damon could be a first round pick when he hit something like .290 his senior year. I think he had an injury though, and he hit .372 the year before that.
   14. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:12 PM (#6039477)
.296 batting average in high school is not good at all, is it?


It's barely above my one year of varsity, so no, it's nothing special.

   15. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6039517)
There was that slow-pitch softball "season" when I made just 4 outs in 8 games and still the scouts ignored me!
   16. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: September 13, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6039539)
Heck, even good-field-no-hit me eked out a career average above .300 as a kid. Of course, with only 3 teams we didn't play a lot of games, and I mostly sat around waiting to be a defensive replacement, so totaled only 53 at-bats in 5 seasons. And 14 (in 27 ABs -- .519, baby!) of my 16 hits came that one golden summer when my mid-September birthday gave me a few months' advantage in physical development over everyone else ...
   17. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6039658)
Rather than debate whether DeSean Jackson was a can't-miss MLB prospect based on his amateur performance, I'd rather go the other way. If he was equivalent to Mookie Betts, then he's pretty damn far from can't-miss, because Betts was pretty damn far from it.

Like, all of these players were drafted before Mookie Betts in 2011:

Matt Barnes
Blake Swihart
Henry Owens
Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Williams Jerez
Jordan Weems
Noe Ramirez

...by the Red Sox alone. Other teams also passed on Betts for 4-5 rounds plus a supplemental round.
   18. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 14, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#6039661)
Based on what I saw, the best football/baseball combo was Toby Gerhart, the power running back from Stanford, who played for Vikings. I swear, he coulda been a poor man's Trout.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6039666)
Patrick Mahomes tossed a no-hitter in high school. The opposing losing pitcher was Michael Kopech.
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:37 AM (#6039757)

As a high school senior, Jackson hit .296

Don't tell Luis Rojas, he'll put him the Mets' lineup.

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