Jackson kicking it into high gear

Jackson kicking it into high gear

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The hit parade continued Thursday for Austin Jackson, whose 3-for-3 performance against the Marlins raised his average to .520 for the spring. Meanwhile, the foot tap that has been in and out of his approach at the plate the last few years has returned.

This time, however, it's more controlled, with help from new hitting coach Wally Joyner.

"I worked on it a lot in the offseason," Jackson said, "but I think when I got here, Wally was able to tell me what he saw and kind of give me some pointers on how to control it a little better.

"I try not to think of it as a leg kick like I did in the past. Now, when [the pitcher] starts, I start."

Jackson is 13-for-25 this spring, with a double, two triples, a home run and eight RBIs. He has struck out four times so far, compared with 17 strikeouts in 70 at-bats last spring.

Asked what he's seeing from Jackson, manager Brad Ausmus said, "Everything -- homers, doubles, singles, triples. He looks really good. He looks really balanced. I think his swings and his at-bats are speaking for themselves. There's really not much I can add."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.