The Los Angeles Dodgers recently lost a pair of prospects they’d acquired over the past few seasons in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft as Drew Jackson and Connor Joe were taken by the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds, respectively. Jackson was then traded to the Baltimore Orioles.
Jackson was acquired by the Dodgers in exchange for Chase De Jong in March 2017. He spent last season with Double-A Tulsa, batting .251/.356/.447 with 15 home runs and 22 stolen bases. The 25-year-old infielder physically resembles Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, where his size belies his quickness and agility.
Jackson has a cannon for an arm and runs very well. At the plate, there’s some holes in the swing but he showed more power last season and also walked at a good pace.
Where he’ll play for Baltimore is a question. The Orioles acquired Jonathan Villar last season from the Milwaukee Brewers, who is the team’s marquee player on offense. He’s primarily a shortstop, where Jackson has spent most of his pro career.
However, Jackson played more second base last season than he did short, as well as spending a little time in the outfield. If he sticks in Baltimore for the whole season, the Dodgers will miss that versatility.
Joe was picked up for future considerations last September and split the year between Double-A and Triple-A. After mashing with the Drillers to the tune of a .304/.425/.554 line with 11 homers in just 57 games, Joe was promoted to Oklahoma City where he continued to hit well. He produced an .879 on-base plus slugging percentage in 49 games with OKC.
A personal favorite of mine heading into the 2014 Draft, Joe caught in college but has been primarily an infielder as a pro. He’s split most of his time between first and third base, with 47 games in the outfield.
That was why the Reds announcing him as a catcher came as such a surprise. He hasn’t caught since being drafted, but if he’s passable behind the plate, his bat would make him a valuable asset. Plus, he’d be blocked at first by Joey Votto.
Overall, losing Jackson and Joe weren’t too damaging to the Dodgers. Jackson wasn’t going to take time away from Corey Seager or Justin Turner, but he could have provided an option at second base in the near future.
Joe is likely a first baseman only and that spot belongs to Cody Bellinger and/or Max Muncy. Hopefully both of them are able to contribute to their respective teams this season. And if they’re returned to the Dodgers, it would give the organization even more depth.