There are eight outfielders (including Mitch Moreland) on the current Texas Rangers 40-man roster and six of them hit left-handed (five have Major League experience). In considering the non-roster invites to spring training, there is right-handed first baseman/outfielder Conor Jackson who could possibly help the 2012 Rangers off the bench.
“They’re a pretty left-handed hitting team. First of all, I’ve got to make the squad. That’s the biggest thing for me,” Jackson said in a recent interview when he was a guest on Rangers Magazine. “I can’t have a usual slow spring training. I’ve got to come out bangin’ and show ’em I can still play. I’m just looking forward to an opportunity.”
Jackson is a career .271 hitter having played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. In his 7-year career, Jackson is 12-for-65 (.185) with three home runs and 10 RBI as a pinch-hitter. The 2003 first round selection for Arizona has battled a myriad of ailments the past several seasons including valley fever, a right hamstring injury and a sports hernia. He’s played in just 204 games in the past three seasons.
Jackson was born in Austin, Texas, but spent most of his youth in Southern California because his dad, John Jackson, is an actor who was Admiral Albert Jethro (A.J.) Chegwidden in the television series JAG and Captain West in A Few Good Men. According to IMDB, Jackson has had 81 acting roles. Father can relate to son and vice versa based on a common theme that connects acting and baseball.
“He used to describe to me sometimes the failure because as an actor you fail. You go in and don’t get a role,” Jackson recalled. “Baseball in some regards is the same thing. You hit .300 and you’re still failing seven out of 10 times.”
Jackson could be a good fit in a supporting role on the 2012 Rangers. On Rangers Magazine (Saturday from 10-11 a.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM), Jackson talked more about the opportunity to play for the Rangers including the trials and tribulations of his career, spring training, his acting career, his baseball roots and more. Listen to the podcast.