Class AAA infielder Ryan Jackson has been called up by the Cardinals to replace Tyler Greene on the 25-man roster.
Jackson, 24, was hitting .269 with 23 doubles, 10 homers and 45 RBIs as the starting shortstop in Memphis. He's 6-foot-3 and weighs 180 pounds -- sort of a Cal Ripkenesque big shortstop. Despite his size, he's a very good defensive shortstop and has climbed the ranks of the Cardinals minor league system steadily.
A fifth round pick in 2009 from the University of Miami, Jackson displaced first round pick Pete Kozma as the organization's top shortstop prospect, forcing Kozma to second base in Class AAA. The starting shortstop in Class AA Springfield in 2011, Jackson was part of a league leading 80 double plays.
While he's a shortstop by trade, he'll likely have to play some second base and third base in St. Louis as a utility infielder. But Jackson told the Springfield News-Leader that he's willing and able.
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"Whatever the Cardinals want me to do, I'll do," Jackson told the Springfield paper. "I'm comfortable over there. I don't feel like a fish out of water."
I like this kid and hope he can make the jump to hitting MLB pitching. Unlike the guy he replaced, Jackson seems like an enthusiastic learner and a guy with a lot of brains and baseball instincts.
I really liked what I saw out of him when he played in spring training. And he seems like a heckuva nice guy from the few minutes I talked to him while he signed a ball for my son.
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