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2018 MLB Draft Profile: Jeremiah Jackson

Sweet-swinging shortstop Jeremiah Jackson could be another excellent prep option in the second round

Here’s the Scoop: Jeremiah Jackson may be too talented to pass up in the second round.

Who is Jeremiah Jackson?

Jeremiah Jackson (six-foot, 170 pounds) from St. Luke’s Episcopal High School in Mobile, Ala. is one of several top middle infield prep prospects who could be available in the early second round. Jackson, who recently turned 18, posted another outstanding season for his squad in 2018: In 31 games this year, he has hit 15 home runs with 49 RBI, scored 54 runs and has walked 39 times against eight strikeouts in 134 plate appearances. His slash line for the season is quite impressive (.644/.754/1.333) and he’s 21-for-23 in stolen base attempts. Perfect Game ranks Jackson’s hitting tool fifth among all prep prospects available in the upcoming draft. It’s believed that Jackson can play second, short or third base but he projects best for now at shortstop. He has a strong commitment to Mississippi State, but might be pried away with an over-slot bonus.

How does Jeremiah Jackson rank?

Baseball America: 44th

Perfect Game: 42nd

MLB Pipeline: 57th

What is Jackson’s game?

Jackson has a young, athletic build and is very smooth defensively in the middle infield. He has good instincts and gets good jumps on balls. He plays balanced and under control, with a compact release on his throws and excellent accuracy. He’s a right-handed hitter with a smooth swing, and has shown impressive power. He uses the whole field and manages the strike zone quite well for someone his age. According to MLB Pipeline, Jackson isn’t especially fast out of the batter’s box, but flashes solid speed once he gets moving, thanks to his long strides. Also, according to MLB Pipeline, “Jackson has the athleticism and actions to play shortstop, but his lack of a quick first step leads most scouts to believe he’ll eventually wind up at second base. His solid arm strength works at shortstop and would be an asset turning double plays at second. If he has to move to the other side of the bag, he has the tools to still profile well offensively.” Jackson’s hit tool and arm both currently grade as 55, his running and fielding both grade as 50, with his power at 45, according to MLB Pipeline. With his long arms and hitting ability, Jackson’s power could improve to 50-55 in time.

What does Jackson look like?

Why should the White Sox draft him?

If the White Sox do not draft Nick Madrigal in the first round, Jackson would be an excellent infield option in the second round. The Sox presently have just one middle infielder among its top 30 MLB Pipeline prospects (Luis Curbelo at No. 27), and Jackson clearly has enough athleticism to stick at either short or second base. While Jackson may not have the same power or switch-hitting upside as someone like Nander De Sedas, he may also have a higher floor due to his better athleticism and hitting ability.

Why wouldn’t the White Sox draft him?

If the Sox do draft Nick Madrigal in the first round, it’s highly unlikely (though not impossible) the Sox would select another infielder with the 46th overall pick — they’d likely select an outfielder, corner infielder or pitcher instead. Even if the Sox choose someone else other than Madrigal in the first round, the Sox will likely continue their trend of picking safer college athletes, despite the clamor of many fans to go more athletic.