Andre Jackson on Dodgers 60-Man Roster
Andre Jackson was selected in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft (370th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played in 78 career games as a two-way player (55 career starts) and 12 career appearances on the mound at Utah. Since Major League Baseball has started its season, Jackson has been on the Dodgers 60-man roster.
How was it winning a Pac-12 Championship at Utah?
It was awesome. When I first came in, we weren't the best team, but I knew we had some good pieces. It was really cool to see that team get hot. We just had so much fun. It's honestly a blur. I rewatched it recently on Pac-12 Network and barely remembered the last game or really that last weekend at all. That whole season was kind of a blur to me. It was just fun and that's what I remember most about it.
What are some of your other great memories about your time at Utah?
All the guys. We always got together and had BBQ's and just stuff away from the field. We had a great relationship with each other and still keep in touch. I think more than anything we were all really good friends, which made it easy to go to practice everyday.
How did playing for head coach Bill Kinneberg and playing for Utah prepare you for professional baseball?
I love Coach K. He's got pro pedigree in him and Coach Jay Brossman too. He's always prepared me and taught me to be professional about the way I got about things and choosing to do the right thing. That's how he is. He's a super laid back coach and a lot more now than he used to be. More so off the field conversations we had, he just prepares you for life.
How was it making the transition to being a full-time pitcher in the minors?
I've always viewed myself as an outfielder and hitter from high school on. Everyone kind of saw something on the mound and I didn't really see it at the beginning just because I didn't really want to give up hitting. I loved playing every single day and that was my dream. Going from not pitching hardly at all and then getting hurt my junior year and next thing I know I'm in pro ball pitching against great hitters. I learned a lot about myself mentally and physically to make that adjustment.
How did you know making the switch to being a full-time pitcher was what you would have to do to be successful in professional baseball?
I think it started when I was in high school, because I got drafted out of high school as a pitcher even though I had only pitched nine innings. I was still good enough to go play in the Pac-12 and play outfield and stuff, but I definitely warmed up to the idea because in my mind I knew I hadn't gone full out either way hitting or pitching. I knew I had potential to improve at both and I was just excited to play professional baseball. I knew especially with pitching that I hadn't worked as hard as I could at it and the sky was the limit.
How have the last few months been?
It's weird. In pro ball, the work you put in during the offseason is what leads to success. You work your tail off and you're feeling good and then all of a sudden it just stops. It was the craziest thing. On a Wednesday, we're hearing rumblings about how it's getting bad. Thursday we heard teams might be pausing spring training, but just didn't believe it would happen to us. Friday some of my friends with other teams were heading home and then Saturday they told us we had to go home. We were just like what is going on? It's crazy and so unprecedented. You work your butt off to get to that point and then all the sudden you're on pause. I was doing at-home workouts and struggling to find workout partners. I was throwing into a net for two months. It was tough and a hard adjustment. Players will definitely be able to come out of it mentally stronger for sure.
What's your role been with the Dodgers since the return of baseball has happened?
Right now, I'm on the 60-man roster for the Dodgers. It's composed of the 40-man as well as the 28 in the big leagues. I'm part of the 60-man player pool where half the guys are at Dodger Stadium playing in the big leagues and the other half are at USC. We have a pretty good setup here. We go in and get our work in. It's sort of like a spring training environment, but we're trying to make it as game like as possible. It's an opportunity for us to stay ready if needed. You never know what's going to happen and if players get sick or whatever it may be, there are players that can fill that void. I'm part of that right now and it's pretty cool. It's some of the best players in the world that I'm playing with.
How beneficial is it to be on the 60-man roster?
I'm so grateful for it. We have a bunch of big league players here. Especially with the Dodgers, it's the best organization in baseball and we have some of the best players sitting in our minor leagues because our big leaguers are so good. I'm getting to face a lot of guys that have had show time and pitchers are down here that have had show time. It's a very select group and I'm grateful to be here. It's awesome to learn from those guys and face some really good hitters too.