2014 MLB Draft: No. 6 – Seattle Mariners – Alex Jackson
Rancho Benardo High a School in California is best known for sending current Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher, Cole Hamels, to the big leagues. It has once again been put on the map, this time by Alex Jackson, as the Seattle Mariners took him with the number six overall pick in this year’s first year player draft.
While some scouts thought Jackson could go number one overall, the catcher said he was “blessed to have the opportunity, and I can’t complain about anything”.
Jackson, who has verbally committed to the University of Oregon, is listed as an outfielder and catcher, but it will be the latter of those however that the Mariners will focus on developing Jackson at first. Expected to be a relatively easy sign, Jackson could command up to three and a half million dollars as a signing bonus.
A well above average arm will add significant value behind the plate, and the fact that the right-hander has shown the ability to hit for average and power, could make for a long career behind the plate. Seattle looks to have renewed enthusiasm after landing Robinson Cano via free agency this past offseason, and their farm system just received a shot in the arm with the addition of Jackson.
If Jackson fails to fill out as the catcher that many scouts think he is capable of doing, the 19 year old is considered to have enough athleticism to make it in the outfield. As Mariner fans begin to picture Jackson with the likes of Cano and Kyle Seager in the line-up, it makes for a very promising future indeed. Depending on how quickly Jackson can grasp and adjust to the everyday grind of the minor leagues, the city of Seattle could see their new draftee ready to impact he big-league club in two to three years.