6’5″ 1B/OF who hit .399 with HR bat seeking team for 2019-20 (SIGNED IN GERMANY FOR 2019 SEASON)
Name: Jackson Roberts
Weight: 230 lbs
DOB: January 25, 1997
Date Available: June 1, 2019Will Pay Flight
Positions (alt): OF, RF, CF, LF
College: Swarthmore College
I am an extremely accomplished Division 3 hitter. I was named to the ABCA’s first team for the Mid-Atlantic Region this past year at the DH position. I was also named first team all-conference and was one of ten players in the state of Pennsylvania to be named academic all-district. I broke my college’s single season home run record with 10 and the total bases record with 116. My Swarthmore team won the Centennial Conference for the first time ever, won an NCAA Regional for the first time ever, and won a game at the D3 World Series for the first time ever. We finished ranked sixth in the country, and as the cleanup hitter, I led the team in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs and total bases. I led the Centennial Conference as well in all those categories except batting average (second). I also have experience playing internationally, as I played for Club Béisbol Barcelona during my semester abroad in the fall of 2017. I batted .444 in the Copa de Cataluña and finished second in the league in slugging percentage, and I also hit three home runs in eight at bats in the Spanish U21 National Championships in Pamplona.
I went from being a middle infielder with limited gap-to-gap power in high school to a power-hitting first baseman today, and it hasn’t always been a smooth transition. I struggled with off-speed pitches early in my college career, but this past season, I greatly improved my pitch selection and began to recognize spin much earlier out of the hand. I also started leg-lifting at the plate instead of toe-tapping and trying to get my foot down early. The result was that I was finally able to start hitting the ball in the air consistently, and at 6’5”, 230 lbs, I quickly realized I had a lot of power to work with. I hit nine home runs in my last 19 games of the season after I made the permanent switch to leg-lifting. I am still learning my swing, and I am confident I will continue to make big strides at the plate.
At the moment, my natural position is first base, and I have improved my defense at first a good bit over the past few years. I grew up playing middle infield and my ground ball footwork at first took some work, but I feel comfortable there now. I have also worked hard to improve my arm strength. I did a Driveline program this past summer and went from having a maximum pulldown velocity of 85 to now 90 mph. I will be continuing the program this winter and hope to add at least 2-3 more mph to that improvement.
I am graduating this May from Swarthmore with a degree in political science, but baseball is still my greatest passion, and I want to pursue the sport until I feel as though I no longer belong. I am eager to find my place in the international baseball community, and I am confident I would be an asset to any club.
Abilities summary: DIII 1st Team All-Region, Batted .399 with 10 HR and .690 slugging as a junior, primary 1B but get good jumps on balls in the outfield
2018 DIII NCAA Tournament Stats: .500/.531/.833, 11 RBI, 2 HR, 4 2B, 6 R (7 games)
Jackson is a 1B/DH who can also play the corner outfield. He has an insane work ethic that has fueled his increased production. Jackson is a dangerous middle of the order hitter who has shown big time power. He doesn't strike out a lot considering how much power he has. He has worked hard on speed and defense and is continuing to improve daily. As the level of pitching increased, Jackson seemed to get better. He was very good in the Regional and World Series and the pitching never seemed like it was too much for him. Off the field Jackson is a model student-athlete. He is a great student at one of the best academic institutions in the world. He has a team first mentality that makes the players around him better. He is very serious about baseball and will do whatever it takes to get better and to win.
Jackson has come a really long way in the last two years. He matured greatly as a hitter this past year. Previously, he was a hitter that would swing at every strike, even the pitchers best pitch and get himself out. This past year he bought into being able to hit behind in the count and seeking pitches he could do damage on and it really paid off. He became the toughest out in the conference. He was arguably the best hitter we saw the entire season. He has terrific size which includes long arms that aid in terrific plate coverage. His pull side power is impressive (he hit two balls onto the roof of our building in left field in one game). He is predominantly a pull hitter which is fine for him with his arm length but he also shows flashes of back side gap power which I think he may be able to refine a little more this year. He takes walks, doesn't strike out too often, and hits for average and power. I fully expect him to be an all American this year and possibly the most feared hitter in division 3. Defensively, the glove is solid. His only weakness is his throwing but at 6'5'' he plays a large first base and is a comfortable target. Unfortunately for him we have probably the best defensive first baseman in the country so he wont play much in the field this year. His job is to hit and he does it well. He presents all the traits of a guy that could be a very good hitter for years to come.
Living preferences: Living on my own, Living with teammates with my own private bedroom, Living with teammates in a shared bedroom, Living with a host family
Status: Long term relationship
Prior engagements: No
Ever convicted of a felony? No
Recent injuries/illnesses: No
Traveling with a companion: No