The New York Mets signed veteran outfielder Austin Jackson to a major league deal two weeks ago and he has paid dividends thus far with the bat.
Jackson, 31, has gone 14-for-32 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 11 games to begin his Mets career. That’s good for a 1.173 OPS in 35 plate appearances. Obviously a small sample six though the power is encouraging after he had only eight doubles and zero homers in 149 at-bats with the San Francisco Giants earlier this season.
The negative for Jackson with the Mets, which has been the case in all of 2018, is his no longer passable defense in center field. He already has -3 DRS in 68 center field innings for the Mets after -10 DRS there for the Giants.
Jackson signed a two-year, $6 million deal last offseason with the Giants and was traded to the Texas Rangers in early July. The Rangers took on the money owed to Jackson to get a prospect in the deal and released the veteran a week later.
The right-handed hitting Jackson is auditioning for the 2019 season as outfield depth with Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares and Jay Bruce all being health question marks. The only two healthy outfielders on the 40-man roster under contract for the 2019 are lefty hitting Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.