10/01/2004 3:32 PM ET
Jackson: Feeling good at the plate
Conor Jackson was selected in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. A third baseman at Cal-Berkeley, Jackson moved to the outfield when he became a professional. In this, his first full season, the 22-year-old hit .345 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs, to go along with a .438 OBP and .562 SLG in 67 games with High-A Lancaster. He hit .301 with a .367 OBP and .456 SLG in 60 games after a promotion to Double-A El Paso. He's a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions for the Fall League season.
I started seeing the ball a little better this week, feeling a little more comfortable in the box. I wasn't really worried, like I said in past journals, about the batting average or anything like that. I just want quality at-bats. I'm not worried about the numbers. (Editor's Note: Jackson was hitting .345 with a homer and six RBIs in 29 at-bats as of Monday's games).
It makes it a lot more fun, when you're hitting the ball a little better. I can't complain, this week has been a good one.
Of the players I've seen on other teams, Jeremy Hermida has really impressed me with the bat so far, especially for a young guy. From our team, James Loney and Rickie Weeks are fun to watch every day. Rickie's a fun guy to see in the box, a fun guy to watch at second base. Everyone said he's better with the bat, but he's one of the best second basemen I've seen. He turns the double play so fast.
James, he's like 19, he looks like he's 15. And he can pick it at first base and he rakes. We've got a good squad. If we're losing, we're not losing by much.
Pitching-wise, I can't really give that away yet. Just kidding. You don't really know who's pitching. There are so many guys who come in. That's difficult for a hitter. The starter's only going for three or four innings, so you don't get a chance to get used to a pitcher and his tendencies. It's hard to get used to a pitcher. You don't get the opportunity to see a guy multiple times here.
We've been hanging around in Scottsdale when we're not playing. We've been working out at LA Fitness and there are a lot of good looking college students here, that's for sure. There are a lot of things to do, and a lot of things to get you into trouble, but we've been very responsible and careful.
And now, on to your emails.
In your last journal, you wrote: "The thing we don't appreciate are the older guys waiting for you
after the game with two sheets of cards and they end up on Ebay the next day." It was great to read this. I've been taking my 12-year-old son to
Fall League games for almost six years. He used to love running
around trying to get autographs from players for his collection. But
he gave up last year after seeing so many "older guys" blocking the
lines trying to get the sheets signed. It was very discouraging. But I'm glad to see that the players recognize this and hope they
continue to sign autographs for the kids and refuse to sign it for these Ebay-ers!
That's good to hear. Like I said, that's the biggest thing. If I see a kid with a ball or card, I'm jumping to him first. Even if I had a bad day, that always cheers me up. That's the best part of the day. So, David, come down to the dugout with your son and I'll make sure you not only get my signature, but I'll force the entire team to sign for him.
These days more players are being drafted out of high school and less are going
to college, and if some do, their "stock" drops off. Can you tell a difference
between a player straight out of high school and one from college. Do you think
there is any advantage of going to college, and any of coming from high school?
That's a really good question. It really depends on the player. For my sake, going to college was the best thing for me. Out of high school, I was about 175 pounds. I was used to about 25 games in a season. It would've been impossible for me to jump from 25 games to 140 in the minors, physically and mentally. But if you're a man child, like Delmon Young or James Loney, if you've been around it like Delmon has with his brother, that's a different story. But other than that, if you're going to college, there's no way to pass up that experience. You're trying to go to Omaha, you mix in the fraternaties and sororities. It was great. I have no regrets. For me it was a plus, and for some other kids who come out of high school, they can't handle the grind. College is kind of like a stepping stone. But there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
What's up with that white-headed woman with the deep
voice who's at all the Scorpions' games. Is she the
team mother? Just wondering.
That's Susan. Susan is our Super Fan. She's the Diamondbacks' Super Fan. We love her. She's the most positive woman you've ever met in your life. She brings so much life and so much energy to wherever she goes. She goes to every Major League game and when they're not home, she travels to minor league games, screaming and hollering for us. She goes to Spring Training, too. I can't say enough about her. She's the best. She always puts a smile on our faces.
That's all the time I've got for this installment. Talk to everyone next week!
Send Conor an email!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.