Despite missing a month because of a broken cheek bone, outfielder Alex Jackson was picked by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Arizona Rookie League.
Jackson, 18, was the Mariners’ first-round pick (sixth overall) in last June’s draft. A catcher in high school, he converted to the outfield after reaching agreement on a $4.2 million signing bonus.
“Generally regarded as the top high school bat in this year’s draft,” Baseball America wrote, “Jackson came as advertised in his pro debut.”
Jackson batted .274 (23-for-84) in 24 games for Peoria with a .337 on-base percentage and a .464 slugging percentage. He had two homers and 16 RBIs.
“Jackson swings hard, with plus bat speed and plus-plus power,” Baseball America wrote, “but he will need to make better contact and cut down on strikeouts.
“Despite his outfield mishap, he made progress in the field and flashed a plus arm. He’s a good athlete and an average runner for his size.”
Jackson was the only Mariners’ prospect cited on Baseball America’s Top 20 list.
Of note: Five years ago, the magazine cited Angels outfielder Mike Trout as the league’s top prospect. Mariners outfielder Julio Morban was No. 6 on that 2010 list.