Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/27/13
Austin Jackson has a career .370 BABIP, which last year resulted in a .300 average. In his third major league season, Jackson saw his walk rate continue to rise (up to 10.3%) and his strikeout rate drop precipitously (down to 21.7%). A down 2011 aside (16.8% line drive rate, .249 average), Jackson has consistently shown he can make great contact, drive the ball hard, and use his legs to get on base.While I love the improvements in his walk and strikeout rates and bow down to his elite line drive rate, I’m not sure any player can carry a .370 BABIP from year to year. In any one year, sure, Jackson could have a BABIP bordering on .390-.400 (which would likely yield a .320+ average nowadays), but year in and year out it’s almost impossible for any player to have a BABIP that high.Over the last three years (since Jackson broke into the majors) there have been 230 players who have registered at least 1,000 plate appearances. Of those 230 players, his .370 BABIP is the highest in the league. Joey Votto comes in second at .367, Wilson Betemit (seriously?) is third at .362, and just six other players check in at .350 or better.I’m not saying Jackson isn’t the best BABIP guy in the league — the numbers seem to suggest that he is — but banking on .370 every single year is a bit too risky for my blood. We’ve tempered expectations a tad, lowering our projection all the way to (gasp!) .358. With his new-found base on balls ability, one of the better batting averages in the bigs, and the elite duo of sluggers driving him in, Jackson will continue to be a fantasy force for years to come.At a GlanceStrengths: R, SB, BA, OBPNeutral: HR, net SB, SLG, OPSWeaknesses: RBIPlayer ComparisonsBest-case scenario: Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)Likely scenario: Shin-Soo Choo (CIN),  Alejandro De Aza (CHW), Starlin Castro (CHC)Worst-case scenario: Martin Prado (ARI)Austin Jackson 2013 Fantasy ProjectionI’m going to pencil Jackson in for 100 runs and a .280 average off the bat. Given his skill set and the strength of Detroit’s lineup, I think those are pretty safe benchmarks to expect. While we also project a little regression in power, dropping from 16 homers to 13 isn’t a huge deal. Yes, he hit those 16 homers in 137 games and we’re projecting he hits three fewer in 12 more games, but I’d like to see him do it one more time before I jump on the 18-20 homer bandwagon. For what it’s worth, though, Jackson didn’t have any single stretch of power last year. He hit either two or three homers in every month, and that lends itself to the power surge being legitimate.Last season Jackson disappointed with just 12 stolen bases, but the Tigers have already admitted that they want to see Jackson run more this season. With his speed that could push his steals total north of 20 once again, but we’ll settle at 20 for now. As fast as he is, he’s not proven himself to be particularly great at stealing bases with efficiency. In 2012 he was just 12 of 21 (57.1%).The bottom line is this: Those who are bullish on Jackson should feel free to target him in the fourth round. There’s the chance he could put up a borderline elite fantasy line resembling 110 R, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 25 SB, .300 BA, and that would be pretty darn special. I’d rather temper expectations a tad, but even our “conservative” projection has Jackson ranked as the 55th-best player in 2013.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

Ex-King says he could do 'much better job' than George Karl

Trainer thought Thomas Davis would not play in Super Bowl


Todd Gurley named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Durant, Westbrook on loss to Warriors: We're not scared

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

Report: Manning hinted to teammates he plans to retire

Barry Sanders shares thoughts on Megatron retirement talk

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Skip Bayless whiffed badly on Cam Newton prediction

Cam Newton doesn't disappoint with Super Bowl outfit

Stephen Curry to serve as guest drummer for Panthers

Charlie Sheen tweets advice for Johnny Manziel

Cardale Jones predicts he will play in Super Bowl

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker