The Royals have acquired shortstop Ryan Jackson from the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for cash considerations, according to a press release. The 26-year old right-handed hitter can play all over the infield, but has been noted for his defense at shortstop. Jackson has appeared in just 25 plate appearances in the Major Leagues with two hits.
Originally a fifth round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 out of the University of Miami, Jackson has bounced around in the last year. He was claimed off waivers by the Astros last November, traded to the Padres for infielder Jesus Guzman before he ever put on a Houston uniform, then was claimed off waivers by the Dodges earlier this month. With the Dodgers picking up pitcher Juan Nicasio, they freed up a 40-man roster spot by dealing Jackson to the Royals.
Jackson is a career .268/.338/.363 hitter in the minor leagues, but played in just eleven games last year due to a wrist injury. Here is John Sickels scouting report on him from 2012:
As a hitter, he shows adequate plate discipline with occasional power. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him put up major league numbers very similar to what he's done in the minors once he settles in. He also bunts well. On the negative side, he's not a great runner, doesn't steal bases, and tends to hit into a lot of double plays.
Jackson shines on defense, where he features decent range, above-average reliability, a strong throwing arm, and excellent instincts. He has spent the vast majority of his minor league time at shortstop, but I don't think he'd have any problems at second or third base. He was considered to be one of the best defensive shortstops available in the 2009 draft, and he's done nothing to hurt that reputation in pro ball.
Jackson could be a useful utility guy to provide competition with Christian Colon for a roster spot. While he shouldn't be much as a hitter, his glove could be a ticket to the big leagues, provided he can avoid the dreaded waiver wire war. The transaction puts the Royals at 39 players on their 40 man roster.