It has become the most elusive, and thus most coveted, trait in baseball: Raw power. Brute strength. The kind produced by fiercely swung bats, not from the seemingly endless supply of power arms these days capable of lighting up the radar gun in the high 90-mph range.
The Mariners, for the second consecutive year, seized the opportunity to add a highly regarded right-handed power hitter with their top pick in the draft. Alex Jackson was a catcher from the storied program at Rancho Bernardo High School in Escondido, Calif., and he will start out as a right fielder with the Mariners. But as area scout Gary Patchett put it: “He’s a hitter. The ball makes a different sound off his bat.”