The SF Giants were so thin on shortstop depth last week that they had to make an emergency trade for Dixon Machado. They are looking to avoid that situation again after signing versatile fielder Drew Jackson to a minor league contract.
SF Giants add versatility and athleticism with minor league addition
Jackson will report to Triple-A, per the team's transaction page. This is a bit of a homecoming for the 29-year-old prospect as he was originally drafted by the Giants in the 37th round of the 2012 draft out of Miramonte High School in Orinda, California.
He did not sign, which is common for a prep player who is drafted after the 10th round. They typically have the leverage of a college commitment and really need to be swayed away from that to sign. Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Stanford University where he was college teammates with current Giants outfielder Austin Slater.
The right-handed bat has been on the move a lot in his career. He has made stops with the Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and the Oakland A's. The A's recently released Jackson, so his foray into free agency was short-lived.
In seven minor league seasons, the Stanford University product has slashed .257/.357/.385 with an 11.1 percent walk rate against a 22.3 percent strikeout rate. This includes 147 stolen bases in 183 attempts, which equates to an 80 percent success rate. As an organization, the Giants need to get more athletic and Jackson brings that to the table.
With the A's, Jackson registered a .243/.353/.297 line (75 wRC+) with one home run, 14 RBI, and 19 runs in 173 Triple-A plate appearances. His 13.3 percent walk rate is great, but his bat provided very little power.
He has appeared briefly with both the Orioles in 2019 and the A's in 2022 where he has tallied a six combined hitless at-bats. Jackson can play anywhere in the field as he has pro experience at every position besides catcher with shortstop and second base being his primary positions.
The Giants' major league roster lack versatility, speed, and athleticism. They seem to be making a concerted effort to address this from an organizational standpoint after adding Jackson and Ford Proctor in recent days. This is not a 40-man addition by the Giants, but probably where the organization is heading in terms of defensive fit.