11/19/2004 3:32 PM ET
Jackson: AFL was a fun experience
|Conor Jackson said he'll take it easy during Thanksgiving, but he'll be right back to work shortly after that. (Chris Shuttlesworth/MLB.com)
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. Through Nov. 19, Jackson was leading the AFL with eight homers to go along with his 26 RBIs.
Well, it's hard to believe the AFL season is coming to an end. It's probably one of the best experiences I've had in my career.
I like to use this analogy -- the AFL is like the Cape Cod League for college players. You come in as a freshman, you go to the Cape and then you know what you have to work on.
Now, after my first year of pro ball, I realize the Fall League is very similar. I realize what I have to work on. I look at the other players and look where I'm at, and realize what I have to fine tune. It's been a really good learning experience.
I played on a great team. That's helped a lot. It was a fun environment. The clubhouse was fun and playing was fun. It was laid back. That's how baseball should be. That's what makes it fun.
I'll be on a beach somewhere soon, not even thinking about baseball. I'll relax for a week, see the family in LA for Thanksgiving, then hit it hard again right after that.
I'll give my body a week's rest, hit the weight room, then hit lightly. But I need a rest from the everyday grind. And that's what it is, a grind. Just waking up and doing it over and over and over again. It's not the game -- that's the fun part -- it's just the routine. You want to mix your routine up when you go home.
If I had a vote, I'd probably vote for Chris Shelton for AFL MVP. It seems every time we played the Rafters, he was raking. He's very close to winning the Triple Crown. He's an impressive player. And I'm really impressed with Rickie Weeks on my team. I played with him on Team USA and the strides he's made have been impressive. He had the tools back then, but he's really developed over the last few years. He's going to be an All-Star, one of the best. He's tough and nothing fazes him.
I want to end by thanking all the fans for following me during my career and particularly during the AFL season. I apologize for not getting to all those e-mails, but it's been crazy out here. I did the best I could. Thanks for tuning in and I'll see everyone next spring.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.