Padres roster review: INF Ryan Jackson

Shortstop, Second base, Third base
Opening Day Age: 25
Bats: R
Throws: R
Contract Status: Controlled by the Padres
2013 Grade: C

2013 Statistics: Jackson was 0-for-7 at the plate in seven games with St. Louis. He spent most of the season with the Cardinals’ Triple-A Memphis affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .278 with three homers and 34 RBIs in 121 games.

2013 Review: For the second straight season, Jackson split time between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis, spending the majority of the season in the minor leagues. He was waived by the Cardinals in November and claimed by the Houston Astros on Nov. 20. On Dec. 18, the Padres acquired Jackson from the Astros in exchange for outfielder-first baseman Jesus Guzman. In two seasons with Memphis, Jackson had a .275 average with 13 homers and 81 RBIs in 887 at-bats. He also had a .343 on-base percentage. But he is 2-for-24 as a major league hitter.

Looking Ahead: Jackson’s glove at shortstop makes him a leading candidate to become the Padres reserve middle infielder. With Logan Forsythe having been traded to Tampa Bay, the job apparently comes down to Jackson or Alexi Amarista. Defense at short and third could tip the scales in favor of Jackson, who was a fifth-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2009 draft. Jackson was a teammate of Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal at the University of Miami.

Plus/Minus: Jackson is an excellent defensive player, particularly at shortstop. He has yet to prove he can hit major league pitching.

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