Zach Jackson proving himself in Oakland A’s bullpen

The Oakland A’s rebuilding process is leading to plenty of opportunities for players that may never have gotten one. Zach Jackson is taking advantage of that chance.

A former third round pick by the Blue Jays in 2016, Jackson was selected by the A’s in the 2020 Rule V Draft. He spent the 2021 campaign in the minors between Double-A and Triple-A, posting respectable numbers overall despite his struggles at the highest level of the minors. However, the A’s bullpen was the Wild West during spring training, with anyone having a chance to get a look.

Zach Jackson proving that he just needed a chance

Since making the A’s Opening Day roster, Jackson has been able to work his way into higher leverage spots. He has picked up seven holds on the year, serving as a valuable piece as a bridge to the ninth inning.

He certainly deserves those chances. Jackson has posted a 2.89 ERA and a 1.232 in his 18.2 innings, striking out 25 batters with 12 walks. While those command issues are problematic, he has mitigated that issue by allowing only 11 hits, generating plenty of grounders as he has held the opposition to a .180/.320/.230 batting line in 76 plate appearances.

Command is likely going to be an issue for Jackson throughout his career. He issued 136 walks in his 227.2 minor league innings. However, he also showed that swing and miss stuff as well, striking out 281 batters.

With his command issues and ability to generate strikeouts, the A’s are hoping that they have found another Jake Diekman type of reliever. He is certainly showing the potential to be a high leverage arm, someone that the A’s could have as a building block in their bullpen.

The Oakland A’s gave Zach Jackson a chance on their Opening Day roster. He has taken that opportunity and run away with it.