The New York Yankees selected outfielder Jhalan Jackson in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB draft and signed him for a below-slot $100,000 signing bonus. The right-hand hitting and throwing outfielder was drafted out of Florida Southern College where he was a finalist for the Tino Marinez Award for the most outstanding player in NCAA Division II baseball.
Jackson signed with the Yankees on June 9 and was assigned to the Staten Island Yankees of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. Jackson played in 49 games while producing a .266/.338/.452 slash line. Of his 47 hits, he ripped 14 doubles, two triples, five home runs while driving in 34 runs. He also stole four bases in four attempts and scored 35 runs.
Jackson shined in his brief amount of playing time in the playoffs. He went 1-for-4, but that one hit was a home run against West Virginia in game two of the league finals. Staten Island would get swept in two games of the three games series.
Jackson’s performance in 2015 led to a promotion to full season Class-A Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League. In his 103 games, Jackson put up a .236/.311/.415 slash line, producing 91 hits. Of which, 28 were doubles, four were triples, and 11 were home runs. He stole six bases but was caught eight times.
Jackson showed tremendous power in one of the highlights of the RiverDogs run to the playoffs. In a June 30 game against the Greenville Drive, Jackson drilled a monstrous two-run home run over the video board in right field to give the RiverDogs a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth. The RiverDogs would win the game by that 5-4 score.
Jackson is a tall, strong player at 6’3” and 220 lbs. He has a strong throwing arm and plays solid defense in right field. He has great power potential but has registered a lot of strikeouts. He has a solid level swing, and as he matures and learns how to hit professional pitching, his batting average and overall stats at the plate should rise.
Jackson needs more time to grow and mature as a hitter, which will come with hard work. He will most likely start the year at Charleston. If he shows some consistency at the plate, he will earn a call up to Tampa at some point in 2017. He will continue to play mostly right field, where he will continue to play solid defensively.