Of all the players you’d like to see do well this Spring Training, I’m not sure there’s a guy for whom it would feel better (for the fans, I mean) than Brett Jackson. The top prospect we all dreamed on before the current wave of elite prospects entered the system, Jackson was the center fielder of the future, and had such a fun game to watch. Speed, power, defense, baserunning, grit, walks. He could do it all. I won’t belabor the contact issues that have cast considerable shadow on his ability to translate those skills to success at the big league level, and will instead say simply that it sure would be nice to see him get over them just enough to make a career for himself – even if only on the bench – in the big leagues.
That’s why it was nice for a day to see Jackson put together a great game, with a three-run homer and a two-run single against the Royals, plating five of the six runs the Cubs would ultimately score. That latter hit wound up being the game-winner, and BN’er Andrew was at the game with his trusty phone in tow. He grabbed a video of the game-winning hit:
I love hearing the crowd get jacked up, even on the road, in Spring Training.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, it was all RizzOMG.
Anthony Rizzo went deep for the first time this Spring yesterday, and it was a thing of beauty against Bartolo Colon. Sure, Colon left the ball up and missed on the inner half, but Rizzo puts everything into it, and crushes the ball:
And in his next at bat, Rizzo did it again. But this time, it was really a thing of beauty. Look at how quickly Rizzo gets to the ball on the inside of the plate (Colon didn’t miss his spot this time), gets his hips turned, and rips the ball. It’s a demonstration of such easy power:
If I remember correctly, that used to be the hole in Rizzo’s swing a couple years ago, and he would swing over top of those kinds of pitches. Lowering his hands allowed him to get to the zone more quickly. (Warning: not a scout.)
And, hey, since we’re looking at stuff, how about a bonus video of almost-never-discussed-(except-by-Luke)-but-probably-should-be Cubs utility prospect Zeke DeVoss. He can play second base and center field, he can walk at an hilarious 15% clip (seriously, that’s his minor league walk rate), and he can do this: