Minor League Prospect Note: Ryan Jackson, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals promoted shortstop prospect Ryan Jackson to the major league roster today. He was hitting .269/.331/.398 with 10 homers, 23 doubles, 41 walks, and 74 strikeouts in 427 at-bats for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds in the Pacific Coast League before his promotion.
A fifth round pick in 2009 from the University of Miami, the former Hurricane is a 6-3, 180 pound right-handed hitter, born May 10th, 1988. His minor league production numbers are almost identical year-to-year. He hit .278/.359/.362 in A-ball in '10, .278/.334/.415 in Double-A in '11, and .269/.331/.398 this year in Triple-A.
As a hitter, he shows adequate plate discipline with occasional power. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him put up major league numbers very similar to what he's done in the minors once he settles in. He also bunts well. On the negative side, he's not a great runner, doesn't steal bases, and tends to hit into a lot of double plays.
Jackson shines on defense, where he features decent range, above-average reliability, a strong throwing arm, and excellent instincts. He has spent the vast majority of his minor league time at shortstop, but I don't think he'd have any problems at second or third base. He was considered to be one of the best defensive shortstops available in the 2009 draft, and he's done nothing to hurt that reputation in pro ball.
I expect Jackson will have a long career as a utility guy, but there is a non-zero chance he could hit enough to play regularly for some teams.