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Prospect Jackson takes hitting session to heart


MESA, Ariz. -- An intense week of hitting in November may help Brett Jackson become the hitter the Cubs think he can be.

Jackson and teammate Darwin Barney spent time with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Rob Deer at Fitch Park. After striking out 59 times in 120 big league at-bats -- and 158 times at Triple-A Iowa -- Jackson needed some help. His hands are lower now, and his swing is more compact.

"It has to do with using more of my top hand," Jackson said of the changes. "I'm a right-hand dominant athlete, and I have a tendency to try to overdo it a little bit with my bottom hand. If you watch swings from last year, you know my back elbow was getting really high and causing kind of like a teetering effect and making me slightly late on everything.

"Now, I'm working on just keeping my back elbow down and being shorter to the ball, amongst other things, but that's the biggest adjustment," he said.

Sveum said Jackson should see results quickly.

"I think it's going to benefit him a lot," Sveum said of the changes. "A lot of these things, you're optimistic about change and making adjustments and stuff, and as a player, you really want the games to get going because it all feels great, but how's it going to work in a game? That's the final piece of the puzzle."

After his session in November, Jackson returned home and was able to continue to work on the adjustments.

"It's become natural at this point and it's something I have to stay on top of, but every hitter will tell you that," he said. "I think the learning process is you learn what works and what doesn't and what adjustments you need to make. That's what the end of last year allowed me to discover about myself as a hitter, so I was able to make those adjustments in the offseason. I can be a force at the plate instead of battling as I did."

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