By Michael Bower
There is little question Alex Jackson, the nation’s top high school prospect, has all the tools on the baseball field to be a first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.
But what many may not know about the Rancho Bernardo High senior to be is he also has the mold of a giving individual.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 210-pound catcher, who has participated in fundraisers and canned food drives before, is now teaming up with Perfect Game USA to help raise money for Rady’s Children Hospital.
Jackson is doing the fundraiser along with local players Brady Aiken (Cathedral Catholic) and Sean Bouchard (Cathedral Catholic). The trio were selected to play in the prestigious 11th annual Perfect Game All-American Baseball Classic, which will be held on Aug. 11 at Petco Park.
The beneficiary of the game is Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. This is the first year players in the game are raising awareness and asking for donations. Jackson has a Web page, where people can donate to the hospital on his behalf. The three players are trying to raise a combined $10,000. Jackson, as of Tuesday morning, has raised $2,295. The group as a whole has raised $5,874.
“We each have a Web page and we were able to write a short bio and put our pictures up,” said Jackson, who helped the Broncos capture the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title last spring. “(The organizer) didn’t really tell us how to get it out there or anything. They just said to use our knowledge and see how much you can raise.”
Jackson, Aiken and Bouchard have a friendly competition with the fundraiser going.
“We are having fun together doing this and just adding in the fact that we are helping out the kids at Rady’s get as much money as they can just adds to the fun,” he said.
Having fun on the ball field is what Jackson’s motto has been since he first stepped on one. He has been able to stay away from the stress of having professional scouts monitor his every move.
This summer and the upcoming high school season will certainly be a challenge now that he can actually be selected in the draft next June. He is currently projected as a first-round pick.
“This summer and the high school year is definitely important,” Jackson said. “But as long as you go out there and have fun everything will fall into place and everything should workout great.”