At first glance, Bralin Jackson's intriguing combination of speed, power, and overall athleticism makes it
seem like the Rays may have landed themselves a steal in the 5th round of this year's draft. But like any
player just drafted out of high school, he is a long way away from reaching his full potential.
Fortunately for Jackson, the GCL is the perfect place for him to hone his skills and become more than
just an athletic center fielder with power potential. To make that transition, he has already identified
several key aspects of his game that he wants to get better at.
"The areas in my game that I think need improvement," Jackson said, "are my batters eye being more
selective at the plate, and working counts. Defensively, it would be getting better breaks on balls in the
outfield. They're hit a lot sharper and have more backspin."
He has already gotten help of course, but to this point there hasn't been anything too new or radical. In
fact, a simple batting practice approach seems to be working just fine.
The work so far seems to be paying off, as Jackson has posted respectable numbers early. He is currently
sporting a line of .278/.307/.375 to go along with 11 runs scored through twenty games.
Aside from continually working to improve in all areas, Jackson has also brought the right mentality
when it comes to his development, and it certainly factors into his early success.
"I came into pro ball with a mindset to be aggressive out of the gate and to develop along the way,"
he said. "I have a competitive side and feel I have to prove myself at times, but this is not a race, it's a
Despite the inevitable ups and downs that come with rookie ball, Jackson is enjoying the ride so far.
"The pro experience so far has been really fun, and humbling," he said. "There are days where you
struggle, but you have to dig deep and find your confidence, and just be grateful to even play pro ball."
It could be several years before he reaches the major leagues, but the process of turning into a true pro
has already begun for Bralin Jackson. If all goes according to plan, he'll be an everyday, complete player
patrolling the outfield for the Rays some day in the future, with hopes of helping them to a World Series
"The type of player I want to be for the Rays down the road is a player who gives his everything on the
field," he said, "who executes, respects the game, is an all-around professional."
Brad Lymburner is the GCL Rays beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @_BradL.
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Known mostly for his athleticism and raw ability coming out of high school, Bralin Jackson has already
taken strides with the GCL Rays as he looks to refine his game. Inside, Jackson talks about the areas in
which he is looking to get better, as well as his mindset towards pro ball and his experience in the GCL so
Jackson is hitting .278 through 20 games.