Locals in MLB: Former Ute Continuing Baseball Dream In Japan

Feb 21, 2024, 12:27 PM | Updated: Feb 23, 2024, 2:14 pm

andre jackson...

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 1: Andre Jackson #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on October 1, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Sometimes, a change of scenery can make all the difference for a ballplayer struggling to find the best version of themselves. For former Utah outfielder Andre Jackson, the scenery can’t get much different after trading MLB glory for a chance to kickstart his career in Japan.

After pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023, Jackson signed a free-agent deal with the Yokohama DeNa BayStars of the Japanese Central League.

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A lack of command has been Jackson’s undoing at the big league level early in his career. Despite striking out batters at a respectable 23 percent clip, Jackson issued walks to nearly 11 percent of the batters he faced with the Pirates, a slight improvement over his 12.7 percent walk rate as a minor league pitcher.

With Yokohama, Jackson figures to pitch primarily as a starter after working out of the bullpen with LA and in five of his 12 appearances in Pittsburgh.

The BayStars open the 2024 season against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp on Friday, March 29.

About Andre Jackson

The Tucson, Arizona native spent three seasons with the University of Utah baseball program, appearing in 78 games with 12 appearances on the mound. After redshirting in 2017 following Tommy John surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jackson in the 12th round of the 2017 draft.

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The 6’3 righthander made his MLB debut in 2021, throwing  11.2 innings across three appearances for the Dodgers.

After being designated for assignment by the Dodgers in June 2023, Jackson was traded to Pittsburgh. He made 12 appearances for the Pirates, finishing the season at 1-3, with a 4.99 ERA in 61.1 innings. He signed with Yokohama in late January.

Jackson’s brother, Isaiah, plays baseball at Arizona State University.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

KSL Sports’ coverage of locals in MLB can be found here.

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Locals in MLB: Former Ute Continuing Baseball Dream In Japan