Cubs' manager Dale Sveum has made it very public despite the doubt: Brett Jackson is well on his way to living up to his potential at the plate this season after a dismal 2012 season.

It couldn't come at a more opportune time either. The Cubs are in dire need of reliable hitting from the out-fielders.

2012 was not kind to Jackson as he posted a .175/.303/.342 triple slash line in 44 games. Those numbers aren't pretty on their own, and we could just leave it at that, but it doesn't answer why he had such a sharp drop in batting metrics compared to his AAA campaign.

The most notable of the differences in his play? His uncanny ability to strike out, especially swinging.

Jackson's MLB strikeout percentage was a whopping 41.5% and posted a meager .37 BB/K ratio. So not only was Jackson being struck out in almost half his total at bats, he wasn't being selective at the plate either. Some of these struggles can be attributed to facing better pitching in the MLB, but it again doesn't tell the whole story. When we observe his swing percentages, you'll note that he takes a cut at 25.8% of the pitches he see's outside of the strike zone. While this is roughly average for any major leaguer, it's making contact that's the issue. Jackson was only able to fight off 48.9% of those total balls, which is lower than whats acceptable for any major league player.

Put simply? It means that almost half of those pitches that could have been balls, are now strikes. Consider he saw over 600 pitches in 2012, and you're looking at a lot of extra strikes that really don't need to be taken.

It all boils down to one problem: contact.