I don't think Jackson's problem will be as difficult to fix as some do, either. As long as you understand that "fix" means get him back to the approach he's always had prior to last year and accept that he'll still have a lot a swing and miss to his game.
First, his cup of coffee was just that. It's pretty routine for prospects to flounder through their first brief call-up. Rizzo did it. Even Mike Trout didn't set the world on fire. I'm not going to read too much into the astronomical K-rate at the MLB level.
Looking at his AAA numbers in 2011 compared to 2012 says to me he was pressing badly. His BB% dropping the way it did says that much. He sacrificed the approach he'd been successful with in an attempt to do too much. And look at the situation he was in. There was a lot of positive chatter about him in spring training, but he was sent to AAA rather than Chicago to start the season. Then Byrd completely fell apart. Then Byrd got traded and opened up a spot in CF. Then Tony Campana started getting regular CF playing time. Brett had to be watching all that. When you're the top prospect in the system and in AAA and had been considered basically ML-ready in spring training and you see nothing but a gaping black hole blocking your position and you STILL don't get the call, yeah, I could see that cause a fair bit of pressing.
He struck out a *ton* even in his first AAA appearance. I mean, at a level few have ever seen and survived to tell the tale at the MLB level.
The larger story here is that, I don't really think the new administration and development regime has had enough time with him. I think he is one of the last remaining casualties of the prior development regime. If he had gone pro one year later, we would have seen a very different trajectory with him.
It means that the list of people who have struck out at his level in AAA and become successful MLB hitters is very, very, very slim.
Obviously, they don't matter much at all once a hitter is proven at the major league level. An out is an out. But they are definitely something you have to look at when you evaluate young players coming up through the system and try to determine their ability to make contact against more advanced pitching.
Few have survived a K-rate like his, but really, how common are players with his skillset who can realistically do enough to compensate for it? Even when it rose to over 40% in the majors, he STILL managed a positive WAR value. Minuscule value, but it's a minor miracle to somehow strike out 40% of the time and not have negative value. So if anyone could carve out a successful career with a 30% rate, it would be someone with his skillset.
which arbitrary set of factors should we use tomorrow?
He had a .402 BABIP at AAA in 2011. That's a big part of it.
edit: at this point, I am beginning to think you are being obtuse on purpose. So I'm gonna stop.
"He always had a high BABIP" can't be used to handwave away an extremely high BABIP.
Hopefully this gets other teams interested btw. Hes not completely uninteresting but the bar should be higher here. Way higher....