CHICAGO -- With Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin anchoring the 2011 Cubs outfield, Brett Jackson's big league time doesn't seem to be a matter of now.
But with Jackson's immense talent, his Major League arrival should be a matter of when, and probably soon. Jackson's ability was recognized on MLB.com's 2011 Top 50 Prospects list, announced on Tuesday night, at No. 46. Jackson checked in one spot ahead of pitcher Chris Archer, who was sent by the Cubs to the Rays as part of the recent Matt Garza trade.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder was the Cubs' top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and the 31st selection overall. Jackson played three years collegiately at Cal, before making his way through three stops in the Cubs' Minor League system during that first year with the organization.
In 2010, Jackson suited up for Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee, posting a combined 12 home runs and 66 RBIs. The fleet-footed left-handed hitter also knocked out 32 doubles and 14 triples, while producing a .298 average. Jackson looks to be a leadoff man of the future for the Cubs, supported by his 103 runs scored and 30 stolen bases amassed over 128 games in 2010.
During his Minor League career, Jackson has 43 stolen bases.
Jackson, 22, played in the Pan-Am Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico but was limited to three games for Team USA because of a right ankle injury. The up-and-coming talent suited up for the Mesa Solar Sox in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, driving in five runs in four games.
That Arizona stint had to be cut short when Jackson was hospitalized in Mesa because of cellulitis with an abscess in his shin. But Jackson is ready to continue his ascent through the Cubs ranks, with a 2011 target of Wrigley Field.