Breakout Candidate: Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson has had a pretty good career to date, with a 14-win season and a 3.62 ERA campaign on his resume by age 27.  He's made at least 31 starts in each of the last four seasons and topped 209 innings in the last two, so his ability to take the ball every fifth day alone will get him paid as a free agent.  If this is all Jackson will ever be, that's not bad.  But seven years ago, when Jackson was considered the fourth best prospect in the game by Baseball America, he was expected to become much more than a solid #4 starter.

Jackson reached the Majors as a 20-year-old with the Dodgers, outdueling Randy Johnson in his debut.  Since then he's been traded four times.  Jackson's career numbers are middling: a 4.62 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and more hits allowed than innings pitched.  When he was traded from the Diamondbacks to the White Sox for Dan Hudson and David Holmberg on July 30th last year, he looked like the same old Jackson: mid-90s fastball, flashes of brilliance (including an eight-walk no-hitter in June), and disappointing statistics.

Something changed with the White Sox.  It appears that pitching coach Don Cooper helped Jackson make a few adjustments, as he was brilliant in 11 starts for Chicago: a 3.24 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9 and 47.2% groundball rate in 75 innings.  Note that Jackson's groundball rate leap actually began with the Diamondbacks.

The Chicago sample size is small but tantalizing.  Jackson even had a three-start stretch in August where he struck out 32 against just six walks in 23 2/3 innings.  If Jackson's superb strikeout and walk rates hold up over a full season, he could become the best available free agent starter aside from C.C. Sabathia.  He'll reach the market as a 28-year-old with Scott Boras at his side, which could make three years and $30MM required just to begin the discussion.  Boras will just have to avoid Oliver Perez comparisons.

33 Responses to Breakout Candidate: Edwin Jackson Leave a Reply

  1. WhiteSoxHomer 4 years ago

    If he does well this year I hope the White Sox try to extend him.

    • jwsox 4 years ago

      you know as well as i do Scott Boras and Kenny Williams do not get along. If I remember correctly Kenny has even stated that he thinks Boras is bad for baseball. After the whole Crede thing I doubt Kenny offers more than one deal. not saying he wont do his job, he will probably approach Edwin to gauge his interest in staying in Chicago, probably mid way through the season. If Edwin wants to stay Kenny will then call Scott and make an offer. I would imagine 3/30 like said is a good contract. Not too long to hurt the team and not really that expensive with all the is coming off the books next season. If Scott and Edwin say yes then he is extended, if scott says no Kenny will not make a counter offer and walk away collecting the draft pick for him.

      But they really do need to extend him with buehrle walking next season, I dont want him back unless its really cheap. And with Danks not locked up yet and Jackson potentiall leaving next season it is peavy-danks-floyd and sale(after being moved to the rotation hopefully) And there is nothing in the pipe line to suggest someone from AAA could come in unless phill humber finally gets it together.

    • goner 4 years ago

      and if Jackson is bad, the White Sox will tell him to beat it.

  2. Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

    He better do well or he will be DFA’d…by my fantasy team!

    Always liked this guy, hope he put it all together!

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      How is he on your team and not on the “crap pile” as we call it in my league. We even have Gio Gonzalez on the heap :)

      • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

        With how he finished the end of the season last yr and all of the potential, I think he is a good pick in rd 23-25 and thats where I got him. Could have a big yr

        • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

          Ah, I see. I just cringe at picking up pitchers who have control issues and could lead to bloated eras, WHIP’s, etc.

  3. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    That no-hitter was such a joke

    • CitizenSnips 4 years ago

      Worst no hitter in history. At least Dock Ellis was on LSD.

      • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

        A.J. Burnett feels slighted.

      • WhiteSoxHomer 4 years ago

        The worst no hitter is still more impressive than not throwing a no hitter. Im not a huge Edwin Jackson fan, but a no hitter is a no hitter. I keep seeing people post, not necessarily the same guys posting here, that one players accomplishments mean nothing with others with similar accomplishments are more meaningful. People act like a home run in the AL West means nothing compared with the AL East. The AL East is a great division but people act like a player with an era in the 3’s in another division will suddenly jump in the the 4’s just because teh are now pitching in a better division.

        • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

          “people act like a player with an era in the 3’s in another division will suddenly jump in the the 4’s just because teh are now pitching in a better division.”

          I don’t even know where to begin because the list of nl pitchers getting burned in the AL East is LONG.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            you have no clue what you’re talking about


          • WhiteSoxHomer 4 years ago

            If you look at his White Sox numbers then consider the fact that he was injured as a Yankee then you will see that he did not fare so badly. You got a guy after an on year, one in which he had never come close to, AL or NL, and then he got injured. The Yankees keep picking him up the year after a career year. Also if you look at his first half numbers, both time he was an Yankee, you see that not only was he decent, he was extremely effective.

          • WhiteSoxHomer 4 years ago

            I never said that pitcher coming into a new division never fail to live up to their old expectations. I am arguing against those that feel that certain divisions of baseball are so much more competitive that other pitchers are incapable of competing at their previous level.

      • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

        you can make a case that A.J. Burnett had one of the worst no-hitters as well. I believe he walked 9 batters if I’m not mistaken.

      • Ian_Smell 4 years ago

        Ellis had an unfair advantage, the ball was talking to him.

        • CitizenSnips 4 years ago

          I’d be afraid to pitch to Jimi Hendrix if Richard Nixon was the umpire too.

  4. mmwatkin 4 years ago

    With Jackson it is either all or nothing. Bad thing for the White Sox is that Boras will try and get him paid based on the “all” games. So glad the Tigers don’t have to deal with him anymore, even if he ended up in the same division.

  5. bjsguess 4 years ago

    Jackson scares the crap out of me. I wouldn’t want him on my fantasy team – let alone committing $50m+ in “real” money.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      Edwin Jackson is the ultimate anti-fantasy baseball player

  6. Pawsdeep 4 years ago

    He has also thrown a staggering number of pitches for only being 27

    My money is on his arm being destroyed by the time he is 30-32. I also worry about a guy who consistently throws over 100 pitches every game. More often than not he will hit 120-130.

    • What about all the hold pitchers who who had no pitch counts with funky motions? They threw more games a week than most SP will in two weeks. Theres a certain point where you take and throw out a pitch count, and thats when the pitcher enters his prime which is between 26 to 28 so don’t worry about it.

  7. pmc765 4 years ago

    Jackson/Boras have gambled on the big payday at the end. Four teams in two years…Rays, Tigers, Snakes, Chisox. All those teams like Jackson the person and Jackson the pitcher. But the first three saw the wisdom of cashing him in, on the assumption that Boras would not discuss an extension seriously.

    So the Rays got Matt Joyce from the Tigers. The Tigers got Max Schertzer and Dan Schlereth from the Snakes…the deal was three way with the Yankees and also involved Ian Kennedy, Curtis Granderson and Austin Jackson. The Snakes got less but they were peddling less of Jackson’s service time. And all KW might be able to get is the draft pick.

    Still, the Sox have Jackson for a year and a half and didn’t give up that much.

    In the end the risk/reward is all Jackson’s. If he is hurt in 2011 he’s out all the millions he could have earned in an extension. If he isn’t hurt but has a bad year, he will sign for one year on a make good in some baseball Siberia. If he pitches well, then he and Boras are rewarded for extreme risk taking.

    • 6 Years of Daniel Hudson alone is a lot.

      • Beauford 4 years ago

        He’s worth something, but not a lot unless he maintains the .219 BABIP and 6% HR/FB he had in his 11 Arizona starts last year.

  8. cachhubguy 4 years ago

    If Jackson has a good year, there is no way Boros agrees to 3/30. He will want more years and probably more money.

  9. When in the last 7 years was there a year in which Edwin Jackson wasn’t a breakout candidate?

    Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, DBacks and now Chisox, all before he is 28.

  10. Edwin Jackson is kind of weird pitcher he is a wayyyyyyyyyy better american legue pitcher then he is national

  11. Edwin Jackson is kind of weird pitcher he is a wayyyyyyyyyy better american legue pitcher then he is national

  12. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    It takes 4 walks to score a run.

    a walk does not equal a hit

  13. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    with 2 outs and the bases loaded the runs would go on contact, scoring 2 runs in your scenario .

    also can’t use thrown out stealing because the same would apply to a walk

  14. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    he kept the other team from a hit and from a run in 9 innings

    how is that not impressive

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