Athlete of the Week: Broncos’ Jackson focused on future in baseball
By Michael Bower
There are plenty of reasons why Rancho Bernardo High’s Alex Jackson should be on the football field or the basketball court.
The soon-to-be junior was listed at 6-feet, 2-inches tall and 215-pounds on the Broncos’ baseball roster last season. That’s plenty big enough to strike fear into any offensive player on the gridiron.
His father, Dorian, played football and basketball. Friends have even tried to recruit Jackson to the football field.
But he has had little trouble saying no, because he knows his future is bright on the diamond — where he has the most fun playing the sport he loves more than any other.
“I played basketball when I was younger and I had a bunch of people wanting me to play football,” said Jackson, a catcher and outfielder. “A lot of my decision is because I don’t want to get hurt and ruin my future.”
And a bright future it is.
Jackson, who was named the Freshman State Player of the Year and last season the Sophomore State Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports, is one of the most feared prep hitters in the country and certainly in the San Diego County. He was intentionally walked five times during a playoff game last season.
It was for good reason, as the powerful right-handed Jackson hit .400 with 17 home runs during his sophomore campaign. He hasn’t skipped a beat this summer.
Last week at the Area Code Games — a showcase reserved only for the top high school players in the country — Jackson tripled, homered, doubled and drove in several runs over the five-game event. He even reportedly tied for the hardest hit ball of the tournament — a 107 mph rocket off his bat that went for a triple.
For his efforts, Jackson is the Pomerado News Athlete of the Week.
“I heard about that after the game,” Jackson said. “I don’t really know what to say about it. I saw the pitch and swung at the pitch and hit the ball hard. I don’t really know how to explain the feeling.”
And that is part of what makes Jackson so great. He keeps the game as simple as possible. He shows up, has fun and tries not to think about anything at the plate.
“Baseball is the greatest mental game out there,” he said. “What I try to do is not think about anything. I just go out there and play. Even though it is a mental game, the more you can block out the mental stuff the better success you have.”
Jackson is already a well-known name in the high school baseball community. He has been invited to nearly every major prep showcase event, including the upcoming Under Armour All-America Game on Saturday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game, which showcases 38 of the best player in the nation, will be televised nationally on the MLB Network.
“It is a really cool feeling knowing that people have seen me and recognize me,” Jackson said. “The talent out there is amazing and I am just really grateful for all the opportunities that I have gotten.”
And those opportunities might not have been there if Jackson had taken up football or basketball. And even though from the outside it seems like he should be on the court or gridiron, Jackson knew early on he was meant to be on the diamond.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “Baseball kind of came to me. It was one of those things. I picked up a baseball and I knew that is what I wanted to play.”
- Prep baseball: Rancho Bernardo High’s Jackson selected to play in Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field
- Prep baseball: Rancho Bernardo High’s Jackson named Sophomore State Player of Year
- Prep baseball: Trio of Broncos off to Area Code Games
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