I know, I know, it's only 8 games. But in those eight games, Tigers center fielder/Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Jackson has struck out just 2 times in 34 at bats. In his first 87 at bats, he struck out 32 times. That's roughly 37% of the time, compared to 6% of the time in his past eight games.
To put things simply, the biggest concern that most people had about Jackson as recently as last month was making contact consistently. Jackson has gotten off to a hot start this season thanks to a high BABIP and an absolutely crazy line drive rate this season after coming over from New York. As a hitter, strikeouts are still clearly the main thing that will likely hold him back from becoming a star.
But lately, and against some pretty good pitchers from Minnesota and Detroit, Jackson has taken things to a whole new level, one that includes significantly less strikeouts than we've ever seen from him before. He's obviously not going to continue to strikeout anywhere near 6% of the time, that's just not the kind of hitter that he's ever been.
But for a guy whose main issue was putting the bat on the ball, the past eight games have been a pleasant surprise. If he can really cut down on his strikeouts going forward, the Granderson deal could end up looking like a steal for the Tigers. Although that's still a big if, the past week has been a good sign.