Jackson leads Tigers to series win over A's

BY foxsports • April 14, 2013

Austin Jackson has already accomplished a lot in his young career.

But it looks like Tigers fans are just starting to see how good Jackson might eventually be.

In Sunday's 10-1 victory over the Oakland A's, Jackson went 4-for-6 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.

"You're going up there trying to have good at-bats and just really see the ball," Jackson told FOX Sports Detroit's John Keating on the field after the game. "That was my main focus today."

It was Jackson's 11th career four-hit game and although it's still very early in the season, FOX Sports Detroit analyst Rod Allen is thinking ahead.

"They've got a team full of All-Stars, just everybody in the starting lineup has made an All- Star team, with the exception of (Andy) Dirks and Jackson," Allen said. "And Jackson's playing like he's going to make one this year."

With the three runs scored, Jackson moved into first place past Oakland's Coco Crisp with 17 runs scored in 12 games. Crisp has 14 in 11 games.

Jackson, now 26, came in second to Texas Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2010. That year, Jackson hit .293 with four home runs, 41 RBIs and 103 runs scored.

Jackson took a little step back in his sophomore year, hitting .249 with 10 home runs, 45 RBIs and only 90 runs scored.

Then, Jackson ditched his high-leg kick before last season and had a career year, batting .300 with 16 home runs, 66 RBIs and 103 runs scored.

No one will be shocked if Jackson finishes the season leading the league in runs scored. With Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez hitting behind him, Jackson's chances are excellent.

"I think if I can do my job and get on base, they do a good job of handling the bat up there," Jackson said. "Those guys feed off each other."

So far this season, Jackson is batting .386 with one home run, five RBIs and is tied for the league lead in hits with Hunter with 22.

"We're getting a chance to see a star emerge right here before our eyes," FOX Sports Detroit studio analyst Craig Monroe said on the postage show. "Even in spring training when I went down and watched him and watched his body of work, he continued to center the baseball. He is centering the baseball at an all-time high right now, which allows him to drive the ball as well as he's doing now.

"That's why we're seeing Austin Jackson use the whole field, driving the ball the other way. When the pitch is inside on a breaking ball, he's able to catch the ball out front and drive it to left-center. This guy here is seeing the ball big and he's definitely taking advantage of it."

Allen mentioned during the game that the Tigers had to rely on their scouts when they decided to trade fan favorite Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees.

Allen, who has been a scout, talked about some of the things they saw in Jackson.

"Athleticism, bat speed, very aggressive," Allen said. "Didn't have a lot of patience at the time when he was playing minor league ball in the Yankees organization. But he's really developed that patience in the last four years here now in a Tigers uniform. We've well-indicated and brought up the fact that he's not striking out nearly as much as he did a couple of years ago.

"It all comes with experience and knowledge and confidence."

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