LAKELAND, Fla. -- Austin Jackson had a season to savor in 2012. He bounced back from a subpar sophomore performance to light up the American League once again.
Jackson hit .300, scored 103 runs and had 29 doubles, 10 triples, 16 homers and a career-high 66 RBIs. The fleet center fielder came close to garnering both All-Star and Gold Glove recognition.
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was asked what he wanted to see from Jackson, 26, in his fourth season.
Just to maintain, Leyland said. If Austin Jackson does what he did last year and added a few extra stolen bases, Id be a happy man.
Steals is the lone area where Jackson's game has declined. His stolen bases continued to drop, from 27 as a rookie to 22 in 2011 and only 12 last season.
Also of concern was his getting thrown out nine times on attempts for a poor .571 success rate. Jackson was thrown out just 11 times in his first two seasons combined, when he totaled 49 steals and was safe on .817 percent of his attempts.