By Dave Morris Jr, Mariners Correspondent, Thu, Dec 4th 9:27am EST
Both Austin Jackson and manager Lloyd McClendon (Jackson's hitting coach in Detroit previously) know the center fielder has more to offer than what was shown following a trade deadline deal. (Source: MLB.com
Fantasy Impact: Fantasy owners who projected Jackson, age 27 last season, to take a step towards a possible 20 HR/20 SB season last year, were disappointed by Jackson's efforts. The center fielder reached the 20 stolen base mark, but with only 4 home runs and a .256 batting average. Perhaps expecting further growth in the power department was an incorrect assumption considering Jackson has always shown league average power (career .128 ISO). Jackson's speed is legitimate however. While the Mariners as a team do not run wild, McClendon has shown he will allow his top of the order guys to run freely. James Jones swiped 27 bases last season and following the trade to Seattle, Jackson stole 11 bags in 54 games with two caught stealing. While the power might not reach 2012 levels, when Jackson hit 16 home runs, Jackson will provide plenty of value in both the stolen base and runs scored categories. With the Mariners continuing to add offensive weapons in the heart of the order, a return to 100 runs scored is not out of the question. Jackson should also be a slight asset in batting average, hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of .270, which in this day and age of baseball is a positive. Fantasy owners may be scared off by Jackson's disappointing 2014 season which will create an opportunity to invest. As a fourth or fifth outfielder in mixed leagues, Jackson appears to represent a value.