Coming into the 2014 season, many people were expecting big things from Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson. After having a largely disappointing postseason in 2013, Jackson seemed to come to Spring Training with a clean slate this year and batted an impressive .429/.458/.696 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in the Grapefruit League.
He got off to a terrific start in the regular season as well, batting .307/.391/.520 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in March/April. He appeared to be very comfortable after being dropped from the leadoff spot to the middle of the order, and he seemed to be headed towards a career year.
However, the wheels have fallen off for the 27-year-old Jackson in the month of May, and his slash line on the season has now fallen to .244/.308/.386. The Tigers should not be overly concerned, though, as Jackson tends to heat up with the weather, and he has historically done some of his best work in the month of June. Therefore, a hot streak for Jackson may be just around the corner.
Although he has not played as many games in June as some of the other months, which is due in part to stints on the DL in each of the past two seasons, Jackson is batting .297/.375/.431 with six home runs, 16 doubles, five triples and 36 RBIs in the month where summer begins. He can be expected to add to those totals in 2014.
It is also pertinent to note that, despite not getting many hits, Jackson has actually been striking out at a lower rate this year. As a matter of fact, Jackson has only struck out 34 times in 201 plate appearances thus far in 2014, putting his strikeout rate at 16.9 percent, which is well below his career rate of 23.3 percent. Moreover, according to ESPN, Jackson is currently on pace to strike out just 108 times this season, which would actually be a new career-low for him.
For the most part, Jackson has been putting the ball in play, and he has hit a few balls right on the screws as well, but he has simply not been very lucky as of late. Look for Jackson to start having better luck next month.