Austin Jackson
Jackson with the Cleveland Indians in 2017
Center fielder
Born: (1987-02-01) February 1, 1987 (age 36)
Denton, Texas, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 5, 2010, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2018, for the New York Mets
MLB statistics
Batting average.273
Home runs65
Runs batted in381

Austin Jarriel Jackson (born February 1, 1987) is an American former professional baseball center fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets. Prior to playing professionally, he attended Billy Ryan High School.

The New York Yankees selected Jackson in the 2005 MLB draft and traded him to the Tigers at the end of the 2009 season, where he made his MLB debut in 2010. The next two seasons, he made the postseason on both occasions with the Tigers. During those seasons, he led the American League in hitting triples, and won the Fielding Bible Award for center field in 2011.

Early years

In 1999, Baseball America named Jackson the best 12-year-old baseball player in the nation, and the best 15-year-old baseball player three years later.[1]

Jackson attended Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas.[2]

In basketball, he was listed as the #10-ranked high school point guard in the country by Athlon Sports after he averaged 22.5 points, five rebounds and three assists per game his junior year in high school. In baseball, he hit .423 with five homers and 34 RBI for his class AAAA Texas State runner-up baseball team and was rated the No. 14 draft prospect among high school players in the nation by Baseball America.[3]

Professional career

New York Yankees

Though Jackson committed to play both baseball and basketball for Georgia Tech, the New York Yankees drafted him in the eighth round (259th overall) in the 2005 Major League Baseball draft. To convince him to sign instead of attending Georgia Tech, the Yankees offered Jackson $800,000, a record signing bonus for an eighth round pick.[1]

From 2005 to 2009 Jackson rose up the Yankees organization and after a slow start, he became a top prospect for the Yankees.[4] For the 2009 season he was the Yankees top prospect according to Baseball America.[5]

After the 2009 season, Jackson was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.[6]

Detroit Tigers

On December 9, 2009, Jackson was traded to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-team trade that brought Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.[7] Jackson entered the 2010 season as the Tigers third-best prospect, according to Baseball America.[8]

Jackson batting for the Detroit Tigers in 2010 spring training

Jackson made his major league debut on April 5, 2010, against the Kansas City Royals, going one for five. He hit his first major league home run on April 25, 2010, off of Colby Lewis of the Texas Rangers.[9] Through the first month of the season Jackson led the majors in hits with 36, and was named the AL Rookie of the Month.[10] On June 2, 2010, against the Cleveland Indians, Jackson made a difficult over-the-shoulder running catch in the ninth inning of Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game. The perfect game eventually ended with two outs in the ninth after an incorrect call by umpire Jim Joyce.[11] He was named an outfielder on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[12] He was also named an outfielder on the 2010 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team.[13]

On November 15, 2010, Jackson came in second in the 2010 American League Rookie of the Year voting, behind Rangers closer Neftalí Feliz.[14][15] Jackson finished his rookie season by playing 151 games with a .293 batting average, 10 triples, 4 home runs, 41 RBI, and an AL-leading 170 strikeouts.

Jackson was named the American League Player of the Week for the week of August 29–September 4, 2011. In receiving the award for the first time, Jackson had a .529 batting average (18 for 34) during the week with three doubles, three triples, two home runs, five runs batted in, and 13 runs scored. The Tigers went 5–2 that week to increase their lead in the American League Central Division.[16] He won a Fielding Bible Award in 2011 as the best fielding center fielder in MLB.[17] Jackson played 153 games in 2011 batting .249 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI, an AL-leading 11 triples, and 181 strikeouts. In Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS, Jackson hit his first career postseason home run. The Tigers would however lose the game and the series to the Texas Rangers.

On April 5, 2012, Jackson was the leadoff hitter and played center field on Opening Day for the Tigers, where he went 3–5 with an RBI and a run. Jackson hit a walk-off, bases-loaded single down the third base line to give the Tigers the win over the Red Sox, 3–2.[18] Jackson played 137 games in 2012, batting .300 with 16 home runs, 66 RBI, and an AL-leading 10 triples. Jackson went to the postseason with the Tigers for a second straight season, and he hit a home run in the series-clinching Game 4 against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. But the Tigers eventually got swept in 4 games by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

Injuries limited Jackson to 129 games in 2013. Serving as the Tigers leadoff hitter again, he batted .272 with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs, and a career-low 8 stolen bases. On January 17, 2014, Jackson and the Tigers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal for the 2014 season worth $6 million.[19]

Jackson playing for the Seattle Mariners in 2014

Seattle Mariners

On July 31, 2014, the Tigers traded Jackson to the Seattle Mariners in a three-team deal that sent Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and Willy Adames to the Tampa Bay Rays, and David Price to the Detroit Tigers.[20]

On May 3, 2015, Jackson sprained his ankle in a game against the Houston Astros, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.[21]

Chicago Cubs

On August 31, 2015, the Mariners traded Jackson to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later and an international signing bonus slot.[22]

Jackson ended the 2015 season having played 136 games, stealing 17 bases with a .696 OPS.

Chicago White Sox

On March 6, 2016, Jackson signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago White Sox.[23] On August 25, White Sox GM Rick Hahn told the media that Jackson would miss the rest of the season after he had been out since June 10. He had surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. Over 54 games, he tallied a .254 batting average, 18 RBI, 12 doubles, and 24 runs scored.[24]

Cleveland Indians

Jackson signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians on January 25, 2017.[25] The Indians purchased Jackson's contract on March 27, 2017. On August 1, 2017, Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a home run by making a spectacular catch over the right center field wall. He traveled approximately 97 feet and flipped over the wall into the Red Sox bullpen.[26] This was declared by broadcasters and MLB as the "play of the year" for 2017.

San Francisco Giants

On January 22, 2018, Jackson signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $6 million over two years.[27]

Texas Rangers

On July 8, 2018, Jackson was traded to the Texas Rangers along with pitcher Cory Gearrin and minor league pitcher Jason Bahr, in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.[28] Three days later, he was designated for assignment by the Rangers.[29] The Rangers released Jackson on July 14.[30]

New York Mets

On July 27, Jackson signed with the New York Mets, as depth in center field, with Juan Lagares sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a toe injury and Yoenis Cespedes out for the remainder of the season to undergo multiple surgeries to eliminate calcification and bone spurs in both heels. He hit a walk-off on David Wright's final career game.[31] He elected free agency on October 29, 2018.


In April 2020, Jackson expressed interest in an MLB return. As of September 2021, he had not signed with an MLB team.

Starting on July 7, 2021, Jackson announced the three-game series between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers game alongside Dan Dickerson on the Detroit Tigers Radio Network.


  1. ^ a b Kepner, Tyler (June 1, 2009). "Austin Jackson: A Star Under Construction". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Dawn Klemish (January 1, 2010). "Minor League Report: Austin Jackson". Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Austin Jackson Signs to Play Basketball at Tech". November 15, 2004. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "Jackson Earning His (Pin)stripes in HWB". Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Manuel, John (November 10, 2008). "New York Yankees top 10 prospects". Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Seven added to 40-man roster Archived March 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine/
  7. ^ Bryan Hoch (January 1, 2010). "Granderson joins Yanks in three-way trade". Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  8. ^ Glassey, Conor (January 8, 2010). "Detroit Tigers top 10 prospects". Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  9. ^ Todd Wills. "Jackson jacks first home run of career". Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  10. ^ Jason Beck. "Jackson is AL Rookie of Month for April". Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  11. ^ "Austin Jackson's catch draws raves". The Detroit News. Retrieved November 16, 2010.[dead link]
  12. ^ Eddy, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Future Big League Stars Highlight All-Rookie Team". Baseball America. Archived from the original on October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  13. ^ "Valencia awarded with rookie honor". November 29, 2010. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  14. ^ "Feliz wins AL Rookie of the Year Award". Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  15. ^ "Buster Posey, Neftali Feliz voted Rookies of the Year – ESPN". January 1, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  16. ^ Iott, Chris (September 6, 2011). "Tigers' Austin Jackson earns AL Player of the Week honors for first time". Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  17. ^ "The 2011 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 2, 2011.
  18. ^ Beck, Jason (April 5, 2012). "Jackson bails out Valverde with walk-off single".
  19. ^ Tigers Avoid Arbitration With Porcello, Jackson Links, Zach at on January 17, 2014.
  20. ^ Johns, Greg (July 31, 2014). "Mariners get Jackson from Tigers in Price deal". MLB. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  21. ^ "Mariners place CF Austin Jackson (sprained ankle) on 15-day DL". Sports Illustrated. May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  22. ^[dead link]
  23. ^ Axisa, Mike (March 6, 2016). "White Sox sign Austin Jackson to one-year, $5 million deal". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  24. ^ "White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season". August 25, 2016.
  25. ^ "Indians invite Austin Jackson to Major League camp". Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  26. ^ Bastian, Jordan. "Austin Jackson soars over wall to take HR away". Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  27. ^ Haft, Chris. "Giants find center fielder, sign free agent A-Jax". Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  28. ^ "Rangers Acquire Austin Jackson, Cory Gearrin; Could Trade Jackson". MLB Trade Rumors.
  29. ^ "Rangers designate Jackson for assignment". mlbtraderumors. July 11, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  30. ^ Byrne, Connor (July 14, 2018). "Rangers Activate Martin Perez, Release Austin Jackson". mlbtraderumors. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  31. ^ "Mets sign Austin Jackson, designate den Dekker". July 27, 2018.
Preceded byAdrián González MLB Player of the Week Award(American League) August 29 – September 4, 2011 Succeeded byC. J. Wilson