Because Austin Jackson is so new to the big leagues, there are options left on his contract, the question then becomes, wouldn't it make sense to send him down to Toledo, where he could actually work on his swing, instead of trying to push through it in the majors? As of right now, AJax leads ALL of MLB with 47 whiffs, which is especially hard for a team to handle that also has the second worse man in the majors in that category (Ryan Raburn w/ 44). That puts him on pace to have over 207 strikeouts at the end of the season, if he gets as many at-bats as he did last year.
The season is still young, his BABIP is below league average (and WELL below his number last season), no one else on the team has his speed, he is young and will break out of it eventually, his defense is amazing. These are all statements I generally hear in an effort to argue against my point. However, the season is no longer that young (36 games is a quarter of the way). His BABIP last year was just ridiculously high, so don't ever expect that ever again. He only has three stolen bases this year, and has been caught twice (Brennan Boesch is tied with him, Alex Avila & Don Kelly both have better percentages, heck 37 year old 230 pound Bobby Abreu has 5 SB's out of 6 attempts!!!) . The youth issue I counter with agreeing to it. Which is exactly why you want to send him down to fix his swing for his career in Detroit, instead of doing a patch job for the season, learning bad habits, and getting completely frustrated when your moved from lead-off to batting at the bottom of the order (the psyche of young players is key to their future development). Lastly comes his defense, which well I cant argue with you there, but I might know someone that could do a pretty good job filing those shoes...
The other side of this argument is looking at the player you'd have to "settle for" replacing Jackson... Andy Dirks. It seems to me that this guy does not belong down in AAA ball, where he is absolutely destroying the ball (.308 BA, 6 2B, 1 3B, 6 HRs). He is also getting on base quite well (10 BBs, .359 OBP) which combines nicely for a .960 OPS. On top of this, Dirks is well known as playing some of the best defense in the Tigers entire farm system, starting mostly in center field. The kid is a wiz on the base paths, with 10 stolen bases this year to being caught ZERO times, which is no fluke he is 55 for 66 in SB's for his career. Add the facts that he bats left-handed and that most people truly thought he was going to make the big club right out of spring training, why isn't DD or Jim making the call to get this guy up where he belongs, in the Show? This wouldn't be rushing him either, he is 25 years old, and has been in the minors for four years now (also when has rushing a prospect ever been a big issue in Detroit). Now I know Dirks isn't on the 40-man roster, but I strongly feel the spot currently inhabited by Clete Thomas (.163/.225/.293, at age 27 in the minors) could easily be given to a man doing what Andy is. Now I don't know everything (far from it) so that is why I'm posting this topic for discussion. To hear what everyone has to say, and maybe for someone (hopefully with more knowledge of the situation than myself) to enlighten me as to what is keeping this move from happening. Thanks, Daringer
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