Luke Ray Jackson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.
- High School Calvary Christian Academy
- Debut September 4, 2015
Luke Jackson was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft.
Jackson throws a fastball (91-96 mph) and an inconsistent curveball. Jackson had a commitment to the University of Miami when the Texas Rangers chose him 45th overall in the 2010 draft; the pick was compensation for the loss of Ivan Rodriguez to free agency. He was the third of four Texas first-rounders, after position players Jake Skole and Kellin Deglan and before position player Mike Olt. Jackson made his pro debut in 2011 with the Hickory Crawdads.
On December 8, 2016, Jackson was traded to the Atlanta Braves in return for two other pitchers, Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl. He pitched five seasons with the Braves from 2017 to 2021, a period which culminated with winning the 2021 World Series. He was always used as a reliever, albeit in different roles. In 2019, he was the team's closer for a spell and saved 19 games, but he had only one other save in the other four seasons combined. He also went 9-2 that year, with an ERA of 3.84. His ERA was above 4.00 in both 2017 and 2018, and above 6.00 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. His 2021 season was excellent in a set-up man role, as his ERA was a career-best 1.98 in 71 games and he received credit for 31 holds. He struck out 106 batters in 2019 and 70 in 2021, but the other three seasons bever had more than 46 as consistency was a big issue. He pitched in the postseason in 2019 and 2021, going 0-0, 10.13 in 3 outings the first year, but then playing a key role in the championship conquest two years later when he appeared in 11 games and did not give up a run in 9 of them. The two exceptions both came in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers: in Game 3 on October 19th, he started the bottom of the 8th with a 5-2 lead, but then completely fell apart, allowing two singles and a homer to Cody Bellinger to tie the game, and another single to Chris Taylor before being replaced by Jesse Chavez. Taylor eventually came around to score and he was charged with the 6-5 loss. He then failed to retire anyone in his next outing, in Game 6 on October 23rd, when he started the top of the 7th with a 4-1 lead, but again struggled, allowing a double to Taylor, a walk to Bellinger, and another double to A.J. Pollock to drive in a run. Brian Snitker then brought in Tyler Matzek who struck out the next three batters in order to limit the damage. However, he bounced back in the World Series, as he only gave up 1 hit in 3 2/3 innings in his three appearances against the Houston Astros.
Jackson went down with arm trouble during spring training in 2022 and had to undergo Tommy John surgery in April, missing the entire season. He became a free agent after the season and on January 9, 2023 inked a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants for $11.5 million with an option for a third year. He was expected to miss the start of the season while completing his rehabilitation from the surgery.
- Maria Guardado: "Giants ink Luke Jackson, who missed '22 with TJ, to 2-year deal", mlb.com, January 9, 2023.