STEVEN JACKSON
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 15, 1982
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 10th Round, 296th Overall, 2004
How Acquired: Trade from Cincinnati Reds for PTBNL
College: Clemson University
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Jackson is on his second go-round with the Bucs.  The first time they acquired him, they claimed him off waivers from the Yankees.  Ironically, the Yankees acquired him in the same trade as current Pirate Ross Ohlendorf.  His primary pitch is a sinker that averages a hair over 90 mph.  He also throws a slider and change.  Despite the sinker, he’s not a groundball pitcher.  He’s had a moderate platoon split over his career, although he actually had a reverse platoon split in 2008-10.

2004
R+:  0-1-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 10 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
A-:  1-0-0, 4.56 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 23.2 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 6.8 K/9 

Pitched briefly in his debut in both rookie and short season ball.

2005
A:  10-5-0, 5.33 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 158.2 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 5.0 K/9 

Spent the year in the rotation in low A and struggled.  Opponents hit .321 against him and his K rate was very low.

2006
AA:  8-11-0, 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 149.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.5 K/9 

Surprisingly, the Yankees moved Jackson all the way up to AA and he pitched much better, with even his K rate improving dramatically.

2007
AA:  0-1-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 21 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
AAA:  4-8-0, 5.87 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 69 IP, 3.8 BB/9, 6.5 K/9 

Jackson moved up to AAA and got bombed as a starter.  Opponents hit .317 against him and he allowed a HR about every six innings.  The Yankees sent him back to AA and he pitched in ten games out of the bullpen there.

2008
AA:  1-3-2, 5.74 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 31.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 10.6 K/9
AAA:  3-0-4, 3.17 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 48.1 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 10.1 K/9 

The Yankees moved Jackson to the bullpen full-time.  He had a poor ERA in AA, but his other numbers were good, including a very high K rate.  He spent two-thirds of the season in AAA and posted good numbers.

2009
AAA (NYY):  0-0-1, 1.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 5.0 K/9
AAA (Pgh):  1-0-0, 6.50 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 18 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.5 K/9
MLB (Pgh):  2-3-0, 3.14 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 43 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 4.4 K/9 

Jackson had pitched in only seven games when the Yankees placed him on waivers.  After the Pirates claimed him, he didn’t pitch well at Indianapolis, but he got called up anyway at the beginning of June.  He was sent back down in early July due to a roster crunch, then returned a month later and stayed with the Bucs through end of season.  He was used frequently, appearing in 40 games, and was probably as effective as anybody in a horrible bullpen.  His ERA, though, was much better than his other numbers.  For one thing, he walked more than he fanned.  He benefited from an unsustainable batting average on balls in play of .264.  He did avoid long hits, as opponents slugged only .335 against him.  He had periodic meltdowns when he couldn’t get the ball over the plate.  The Pirates designated Jackson for assignment in mid-January when they needed to clear a roster spot, with GM Neal Huntington specifically pointing to Jackson’s BB:K ratio as evidence that he wasn’t likely to repeat his nice ERA.  Jackson cleared waivers and was assigned to Indianapolis.

2010
AAA:  4-0-0, 3.51 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 56.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 5.9 K/9
MLB:  0-1-0, 8.74 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 5.6 K/9 

Opening the season at Indianapolis, Jackson didn’t pitch especially well there.  He wasn’t bad in any one area, apart from a low K rate, but he wasn’t especially good in any respect, either, which isn’t what you’d want to see from an experienced pitcher working in relief in AAA.  The Pirates nevertheless brought Jackson up at the end of May when they had some injuries.  He pitched very poorly and was optioned back to AAA, then brought up again when Pirates traded away half their bullpen at the trade deadline.  He pitched poorly again and the team put him back on waivers when they claimed Chris Resop.  Jackson cleared waivers and accepted assignment to AAA.  At the end of the AAA season, however, the Pirates put Jackson back on the roster and called him up again, to be sure they had enough bodies in the bullpen.  As it turned out, Jackson pitched only sparingly in September.  He was outrighted to AAA after the season and elected minor league free agency.

2011
AA (LAD):  0-1-0, 7.15 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 7.1 K/9
AAA (LAD):  0-2-0, 15.88 ERA, 2.82 WHIP, 5.2 IP, 7.9 BB/9, 3.2 K/9
AAA (Cinn):  0-0-1, 5.59 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 6.5 K/9

AAA (Pgh):  4-2-1, 3.96 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 36.1 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 3.7 K/9

Signed with the Dodgers in March and was utilized as a starter in AAA and AA.  Couldn’t get anybody out, allowing 19 earned runs over 17 innings in five games, and was released in May.  The Reds picked him up a few days later and he pitched better in relief.  The Pirates re-acquired Jackson for a PTBNL in late June and assigned him to Indianapolis, where they needed help due to various personnel moves.  He pitched much as he had before, not especially well or badly, in 24 games.  He had a very low K rate and walked the same number he fanned.

Jackson has been pitching at the AAA level or higher since 2007 and has yet to show any evidence that he could be a useful major league pitcher.  The Pirates’ original interest in him probably was driven by their fascination with one-pitch sinkerball pitchers, an obsession that’s been entirely counter-productive so far.  At least they didn’t bring him to the majors this time.  He’ll be a free agent in the fall and will probably move on.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $15,000
MiLB Debut: 2004
MLB Debut: 6/1/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 9/7/2010 (Removed 11/3/2010)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2009, 2010)
MLB Service Time: 0.151
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round, 296th overall pick; signed on June 16.
January 9, 2007: Acquired by the New York Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Ross Ohlendorf, Alberto Gonzalez, and Luis Vizcaino in exchange for Randy Johnson and cash.
November 20, 2008: Contract purchased by the New York Yankees.
May 8, 2009: Designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.
May 18, 2009: Claimed off of waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the New York Yankees.
January 19, 2010: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
January 27, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 28, 2010: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
August 4, 2010: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 7, 2010: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 3, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
March 5, 2011: Signed minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
May 19, 2011: Released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
May 23, 2011: Signed minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds.
June 24, 2011: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later.