Finally to the top five of our 2014 MLB draft prospects rankings. As I said yesterday, I think you know who they are. You can probably figure out the order as well. There could be debate among the top two or three.
5. Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA), C, 6′ 2″, 210 lbs.
I think there’s little question whose the top prep position in this draft class. It’s Jackson, and I don’t think it’s close. He has the bat and he has the defensive skills. That said, there’s some debate on what position Jackson will fill as a pro.
His skills behind the plate aren’t elite, but he owns a strong arm and his POP time of 1.73 is tops in this class. Even with that, some believe Jackson would need some more development of his overall receiving package.
But that also leads some to think that Jackson might be a better for as a right fielder. The arm is plenty strong (he’s been clocked at 98 from the outfield), and there is enough athleticism present to make the move as he does possess some foot speed. There’s a feeling that hearing a positional change might be in order has caused Jackson to give up on the thought of catching at the big league level.
The reasoning behind a position switch is that there is a general feeling Jackson will further mature and fill out his frame even more, possibly being unable to handle behind the plate duties over the long haul.
Honestly, it makes no difference. His bat plays well at many positions. He displays a willingness to go the other way. Jackson also possesses good bat speed and power is certainly a characteristic that could be further developed.
Jackson has committed to Oregon.