Luke Jackson, the Texas Rangers' righthanded pitcher who is currently with AA Frisco, was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week yesterday.
He apparently would like to win that award two weeks in a row, as he was dominant again yesterday, taking a perfect game into the 6th inning, and ending up going 7 shutout innings, striking out 8, walking 0, and giving up just three hits. Jackson has now had four outings for Frisco this year, with one disaster outing -- a 7 run, 3.1 IP performance against Northwest Arkansas -- and three appearances where he hasn't allowed a run. Jackson now has a 2.95 ERA on the year, and since the beginning of June, 2013, he's allowed 22 earned runs in 103.1 innings -- a 1.92 ERA.
Tepid was at the game last night, and had some glowing reports on Jackson's stuff:
Luke Jackson is shoving here in Frisco. Perfect through 5. Touched 97 that inning, then dropped in a 73mph CB.— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) April 22, 2014
Luke Jackson looks like a dominant muthafucka right now. 4 perfect on 42 pitches.— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) April 22, 2014
Luke Jackson threw 34 pitches tonight that were 95mph or faster. The. End.— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) April 22, 2014
Jackson was a late convert to pitching, and although he was a first round pick in 2010 who was signed to a well-above-slot bonus, the Rangers have not moved him as rapidly as they have some of their other heralded prospects, choosing to be patient with him as he learns his craft. That patience appears to be paying off, with Jackson having kicked it into another gear in the middle of last season.
Here's a fascinating stat I just pulled up...from June 1, 2013, through the end of last season, Jackson allowed opposing hitters a .179/.274/.214 slash line. He faced 326 batters over that span, and allowed 6 XBHs -- 2 homers and 4 doubles. That's amazing.
Jackson's name came up in the Matt Garza trade talks last year, and there were some reports that the Rangers parted with C.J. Edwards because they wanted to keep Jackson over Edwards. Of course, there were also reports that the Cubs preferred Edwards over Jackson, and insisted on Edwards. Regardless, though, the presence of Jackson in the farm system was one of the reasons the Rangers were willing to part with Edwards, and so far this year, he's building on his 2013 success.
And with another start scheduled for later this week, who knows...Jackson could make it two Pitcher of the Week Awards in a row...