Jeremiah Jackson was drafted by the LA Angels in the second round of the 2018 draft and may very well have been the steal of the draft for the Angels.
Jackson may be coming out of high school, but his advanced tool set has him standing toe-to-toe developmental wise with many other prospects within the LA Angels system. He’s already got a nice jump on his development given his natural skill set, which means we could be seeing Jackson making his way to the Angels in only a few years.
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Jeremiah Jackson broke a long running trend on draft day by being the first Alabama-based high schooler to be taken in one of the first three rounds since the legendary Bo Jackson (not related). What’s allowed Jackson this high draft stock was a combination of his advanced hitting and mature athleticism. Seeing as how he’s been his high schools starting shortstop since the seventh grade, we can now begin to understand what’s gone into making him so advanced for his age.
One thing Jackson has is pop in his bat, he can drive the ball to all sides of the field which is very valuable coming from a young prospect. As a right-handed hitter Jackson has shown that he can punch the ball wherever need be thanks to his developed eye at the plate and quick bat. He’s already pounded seven home runs in just his first season within the Angels system, and despite his .314 OBP he’s managed an .805 OPS over the course of 191 at-bats. That’s quite an advanced swing he has there for his age, even though he’s struck out 59 times in his first season a little work on his swing should up his contact consistency (.254 AVG) and allow for even more power (.491 SLG).
Jeremiah Jackson (SS)
Drafted 2018 – 2nd Round (#57)
His athleticism has a ton of value, especially defensively, although it is wondered if he will be able to stick it out at shortstop all the way to the Majors. His arm strength is good enough to stick it out, what really seems to hold him back from a long-term position at SS is his lack of a first step. It’s the same thing regarding his base-running, when he comes out of the box he doesn’t have a strong first step. That lack of reflexive quickness obviously isn’t hampering his game, but it isn’t allowing him to break through to his next developmental level.
This is something that can be fixed over time, so I don’t expect it to hold Jackson back significantly. Although if he can instill the muscle memory with that quick first step he can expand his value even more than it already stands. As of now he’s already a quick guy, but that slow get-off on his movements do hold him back on multiple sides of the game. An adjustment in that department will keep Jackson at shortstop and allow more speed on the base-paths.
Overall Jeremiah Jackson looks really good for a first year draftee coming out of high school. He’s already catching up to his peers with his development and if he can work on cutting down the fat in his swing he can become even more lethal at the plate than he already is. A greater ability to make contact will enforce more natural power from Jackson, and seeing as how he can already batter the whole of the field a more consistent bat will turn him into a true force. An fine-tuning with his reflexive quickness is needed, but again it’s not something that negatively impacts his value, it just keeps him from shooting into the next level of talent.
Jackson will make the Angels team quicker than many expect, especially for a high-school draftee. He could very well make it to the Bigs by his age 21 season, just in time to enjoy a cold one with his first game as a potential Big League star. There are big things in store for Jeremiah Jackson, and from the look of things we may not have to wait long to see them.
Developmental Needs: First-Step Quickness (Fielding/Baserunning), Refined Swing, On-Base Skills
Best Tools: Natural Power, Bat Speed, Use of all the Field in Hitting, Advanced Approach, Already Matured Skills
MLB ETA: 2021