Thursday, April 11, 2024

Twentysomethings Named Jackson


By now you've probably heard that the three youngest players in baseball right now are all named 'Jackson'. Jackson Chourio of Milwaukee, Jackson Merrill of San Diego, and now Jackson Holliday of Baltimore. Which proves one thing: Jackson was just a really popular baby name in, like, 2003. 

[Then again, my nephew, who just turned 1, is a Jackson, so what the hell do I know? And for those of you that are longtime readers of the blog, yes, I, Jordan of Mint Condition, am an uncle. I'll keep AARP at bay for ya.]

Of the two, the one Jackson that people seem to be talking about the least is Jackson Merrill, who made the Opening Day roster with San Diego. While Merrill isn't quite the big name that Chourio or Holliday have been, he's been one of the Padres' top performers so far this season. The 21-year-old is currently hitting .286 with 12 hits, 3 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He's also a decent defender, and has been doing his best to make up for the loss of Trent Grisham [who's cursing his luck over in New York at the moment]. 

Right now, with the number of Padres who just aren't showing up, it's nice that someone like Merrill can go from a prospect piece to a team mainstay. Because right now Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Ha-Seong Kim and Joe Musgrove are all struggling. Machado's beginning to pick up, but the fact that the starting 3B is currently Tyler Wade, and Machado is spending most of his time at DH, is...concerning. Machado is 31, and one would assume he still had at least some peak material left, even if it's very possible that he hit his peak at 30 and is now just sliding back downhill, like Pujols before him. I just think that, considering how much the Padres paid to keep him around while their owner was still alive, it would be nice if he had some solid seasons left in him. 

The good news is that Merrill has ensured that this inefficiency hasn't spread to the outfield, as he, Fernando Tatis and Jurickson Profar are all off to hot starts. Profar I think is just made to perform well in San Diego, as the Denver experiment did not work whatsoever for him. He's hitting .333 with 10 RBIs and 3 homers already, that's what they're used to. Tatis is kinda doing his thing, 9 RBIs and 4 homers, he's probably only gonna build from here. And as he improves we're just all gonna collectively forget he took HGHs, just like the Dodgers are trying to sweep the Ippei thing under the rug. Y'know, just watch how he plays, focus entirely on that.

The Padres are still figuring themselves out in the post-Seidler era, and I think they're coming to terms with the fact that they may not compete, but they at least have enough people right now who are performing well to keep them out of last. And somebody like Merrill is a great future piece that could lead them to a future era where they aren't trapped behind the Dodgers and D-Backs.

Maybe another couple Jacksons will come along as well. Who knows at this point?

Coming Tomorrow- The phrase 'a swing that was made for Fenway' comes to mind.

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