Torii Hunter filmed a quick Instagram video of his Detroit Tigers teammate Austin Jackson throwing down a dunk in an empty gym. Let’s assume it was some sort of offseason conditioning plan to increase his ability to rob home runs at the wall.
Coming out of Denton, Texas, Jackson was a solid basketball player as well as a big-time baseball prospect circa 2005. It’s pretty funny, looking back now, on this report on a teenage Jackson from Scout:
Many major league scouts worry that because of basketball, they’ll never find out exactly what Jackson can do on the diamond. They worry that his passion for hoops is a sign that he might not be truly dedicated to baseball.
Jackson was good enough at hoops to sign a Letter of Intent with Georgia Tech in 2004, but declined to play college ball when the Yankees offered him $800,000 as an eighth-round pick. Jackson will make $6 million in 2014 after agreeing to terms with the Tigers. He’ll be a free agent after the 2015 and probably make a lot more than he would had he stuck with basketball. It’s safe to say, his dedication to baseball is no longer in question.
The biggest regret here? Hunter didn’t film former teammate Prince Fielder trying to dunk before he was traded to the Rangers last fall. [via LBS]