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Meet Brett Jackson, 2016 World Champion

The Giants took a former top prospect in the Triple-A Rule 5 Draft, hoping for the same tools-into-production-into-trolling magic they've had with other minor league center fielders

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, the headline is trolling, yes. The odds are forever against a pick from the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft ever doing well in the majors. Do you want to know one of the most successful Triple-A Rule 5 picks, at least when it comes to major league games played?


Indeed. That's the success story. Our old friend just signed with the Rays, so there's still some hope for him to wow us, too.

So Brett Jackson, by definition, is unlikely to do anything for the Giants. That's even before you realize he's struck out in a third of his at-bats in the minor leagues, and that his strikeout rate would be historically bad in the majors, even if it didn't increase at all from his Triple-A numbers.

It's not like there's a hot rumor to write about, though. And you know there will be found money from somewhere in a couple years, so this is a good place to start. Jackson is just 26, and he used to be quite the prospect. He was a first-round pick out of Cal in 2009, and he started his pro career hitting .318/.418/.488 in the Northwest League. He moved up to High-A and murdered the ball, and he did great after a midseason promotion to Double-A. The next season, at age 22, he hit very well in Triple-A. Pacific Coast League asterisks apply, sure, but he was still young for the league. And he had tools.

Here's what Baseball America wrote about him after that season:

With solid to above-average tools across the board, as well as the ability to stay in center field, Jackson is a potential all-star. His power stands out the most, as he has the bat speed, loft and strength to drive balls out of the park to all fields. He has become much more selective at the plate than he was in college, waiting for pitches he can punish and taking walks when pitchers won't challenge him.

I'll take a dozen. He followed that season with a not-too-terrible campaign, with his walks and strikeouts going in the wrong direction. And then ...nothing. He had one of the worst seasons by any full-time starters in the minors in 2013, and he was just as bad in 2014.

Jackson doesn't have the bench experience of Andres Torres when the Giants signed him. He had an even worse season than Gregor Blanco did when the Giants signed him, and Blanco had the excuse of a wrist injury. But Jackson is still a mighty interesting acquisition to stash in Sacramento. Unlike the major league portion of the Rule 5, the Giants don't have to leave him on any sort of roster to keep him around.

It's not Jon Lester -- it's not even Chris Denorfia -- but this will do until the real transactions get here. The Giants plucked an interesting player in the Rule 5, interesting enough to still be worth a midseason deal to someone last year. There's a .01-percent chance this works out, but then again, there's a lot of stuff you could have said that about over the last five years.The even-year nonsense has to start somewhere.