Austin Jackson: Just What the Detroit Tigers Needed

Austin Jackson

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Jackson began the 2013 season with a bang. He hit around the .300 mark for the first month with two homers and 10 RBIs, scoring runs in his sleep.

In the nine games before his injury in May, he was hitting just .231 in the month with no home runs and just one RBI. Things went awry for the young center fielder pretty quickly.

As one of the up-and-coming stars in the MLB, Jackson’s expectations for himself and everyone’s expectations for him have risen considerably. When he was brought in three years ago, he was supposed to be the guy that replaced All Star Curtis Granderson. The guy that everyone in Detroit loved and, in all honesty, a good majority of fans’ favorite player.

Trading away Granderson was like trading a piece of Detroit and the guy who replaced him better be just as good — or better.

Enter, Austin Jackson.

His first season in 2010 was a success. The rookie hit .293 and showed some signs of the future. He didn’t have as much power as Granderson, but he could play the outfield and run just as well.

Season No. 2 was not as successful average-wise as he hit sub-.250, but he showed a bit more pop in his bat, hitting 10 home runs instead of four from the prior season.

Jackson’s third season in the league had been his most successful yet. He hit .300 and his power started progressing at a more rapid pace as he hit 16 home runs and had 66 RBIs to go with it at the leadoff spot.

How has this fourth season gone? Well, he’s hitting about .290 with three homers and 15 RBIs, but he’s also missed over a month of play in the young season. The Tigers struggled a bit without him offensively, winning about half of their games, but still keeping a solid lead over the rest of the teams in the American League Central.

Since he’s been back in the lineup, Jackson is hitting a scorching .421 with an on-base percentage of .500 and a total of five runs scored in five games. The Tigers are 3-2 since he’s returned and in those two losses, he failed to score a run. In the three wins, Jackson scored at least one run.

Moral of the story — get Austin Jackson to cross home plate and you have a great chance to win.

He is just what the Tigers need at the top of the order and look out for this team in the coming months, they could be scarier than they were before.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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