Chicago Cubs: Looking at potential 2016 center field options

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Sep 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Austin Jackson (27) high-fives manager Joe Maddon (R) after scoring a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Jackson

Acquired late this season from the Seattle Mariners, Jackson has served mostly as a bench player and late-inning role player for the Cubs in 15 games.

He hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut offensively, either. With Chicago, he’s batting just .227/.261/.341 in a limited 46 plate appearance sample size. On the season, as a whole, he’s got a .690 OPS – roughly 40 points below his career average.

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It’s been awhile since Jackson put together an impressive season at the dish. Back in 2012 and 2013 with the Tigers, he appeared poised to break out as one of the top outfield bats in the game, batting .300/.377/.479 with Detroit in 2012, combining a rare duo of power and speed.

In terms of Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), Jackson has been a 6.0 player, or slightly above-average, this year in center. Fowler, by contrast, has been a hair below-average, coming in at a -0.7 mark in over 1,200 innings at the position for Chicago this season.

In terms of price, Jackson is a prototypical buy-low target for the front office. If he can regain a bit of his former offensive potency, he could be a very big piece to the puzzle moving forward.

Next: Colby Rasmus