DETROIT -- Credit Austin Jackson's independence from the old leg kick in his swing all you want for his arguably All-Star numbers, from a .320 batting average that ranked fifth in the American League and a .934 OPS that ranked among the best for leadoff hitters, to a .354 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Wednesday. But also credit the mental adjustments he's made.
Among the sea shifts in Jackson's stats are his numbers with two strikes. His .187 average in those situations is 35 points higher than last year and six points under his average during his rookie season in 2010. His .572 two-strike OPS is easily the best of his career.
The biggest improvement, though, is how many fewer two-strike situations he has when he's at the plate. With 150 plate appearances in two-strike counts, he's on pace for 300 after back-to-back seasons with 372 two-strike situations. Yet his average of 4.21 pitches per plate appearance this year is the highest of his career.
Jackson entered Wednesday on a 10-game hitting streak, during which he's batting 16-for-43 (.372).