Born: October 27, 1987
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 9th Round, 281st Overall, 2008 (Cubs)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Furman Univ.
Agent: N/A


Jackson throws a low-90s four seam fastball and an upper-80s two-seamer.  When he was moving up quickly through the Cubs’ system, he also had an effective curve, slider and change.  Once he hit AAA, though, his stuff and performance both went rapidly downhill over several years.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2014, including an invitation to major league spring training.

A-:  0-0-0, 5.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 1.0 BB/9, 14.0 K/9
A:  2-2-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 13.9 K/9
A+:  2-0-0, 1.59 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 11.1 K/9

Jackson made brief stops at three levels of the Cubs’ system, pitching well as a starter and reliever, and putting up high K rates.

A+:  2-2-0, 1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 38.1 IP, 0.9 BB/9, 10.8 K/9
AA:  5-5-0, 3.70 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 82.2 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.4 K/9
AAA:  1-0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 6.4 K/9

The Cubs moved Jackson up to AA and he pitched fairly well there, although with a much higher walk rate than he’d had previously.  The team demoted him to high A in late July due to a rules infraction.  He dominated at the lower level.  He made one start in AAA at the end of the season.  After the season, Baseball America rated him the fifth best prospect in the Cubs’ system.

AAA:  11-8-0, 4.63 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 157.1 IP, 2.7 BB, 6.8 K/9

Jackson had a disappointing season in AAA.  He didn’t allow a lot of runners, but his stuff regressed, his K rate was low, and he had trouble with gopher balls, allowing 20.

AAA:  8-14-0, 5.34 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 146.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.0 K/9

Jackson went back to AAA and everything continued to go backwards.  Opponents hit .305 against him and his K rate dropped further.

AAA:  3-7-0, 6.57 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 86.1 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Back in AAA for another season, this time pitching mainly in relief, Jackson’s performance went even further downhill.

AA:  3-6-0, 3.16 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 79.2 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.2 K/9
AAA:  1-1-0, 4.68 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 7.2 K/9

The Cubs released Jackson at the end of spring training, but the Marlins signed him the next day.  He spent most of the season in the Marlins’ AA rotation, but he moved up to AAA late in the year.  He recovered somewhat.

Jackson pitched mostly well in spring training, including some longer outings.  He’ll start the season, though, in the AAA bullpen.  His experience in relief so far hasn’t been good, but it was very limited.

Baseball Reference–Minors
2014: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: $90,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
June 5, 2008: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 9th round, 281st overall pick; signed on June 10.
April 4, 2013: Released by the Chicago Cubs.
April 5, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Miami Marlins.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 20, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.