Ryan Jackson Could Have a Chance with the Royals


Former top prospects will just continue to get chances, especially if they are still young. There is something about a young player who was felt to be a future star that holds allure, tantalizing teams with the hopes that this new franchise can tap into that potential. That is what the Royals have with Ryan Jackson, who they acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 26th for cash considerations. Or, the Dodgers just wanted to be rid of Jackson and accepted whatever pocket change Dayton Moore found in his couch.

In Jackson, the Royals have acquired a player who was once rated as the St. Louis Cardinals 13th overall prospect prior to the 2011 season. Jackson was also considered to to be the Cardinals top defensive infield prospect from 2009 through 2011, which may give a bit of insight as to why the Royals found him worthy of whatever money was shipped to Los Angeles. However, in his brief time in the majors, Jackson has all of two hits in 25 plate appearances, striking out five times and drawing a single walk.

In the minors, Ryan Jackson has looked like a potentially competent hitter. He has a career .268/.338/.363 batting line with 27 home runs and 27 stolen bases. At the AAA level, where Jackson has spent parts of the past three years, that batting line has increased to .274/.344/.369, with 13 home runs and 43 doubles. Those numbers indicate that he may be able to produce if given a chance.

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Now, one has to wonder if the Royals are where Jackson will actually get that chance going forward. Over the past year, Jackson has been a part of five different teams. The Astros claimed Jackson on waivers on November 20, 2013, only to send him to the Padres for Jesus Guzman. After the 2014 season, the Padres waived Jackson, who was claimed by the Dodgers on November 3rd. Then, 23 days later, he is the latest member of the Royals.

Ryan Jackson, if healthy, may be brought into Spring Training to compete for a utility infield position. While Jackson is primarily a second baseman, he has played a bit at third and short at both the major league and minor league level. If not, Jackson could be a solid piece in the minor league level, ready to come up to the Royals in case of injury.

He may not be a future star, but Ryan Jackson could still have a solid career. Now the Royals are the latest team to see if he can tap into that potential.