Which New Team? The one with Ackley and Smoak

He continues to count off the odds-enhancing factors, on the fingers of both hands...


8.  You would take infielders over outfielders.  Ackley plays a premium position.  As a quality 1B, you'd rather have Smoak than a corner OF or DH or lumbering Montero type (though of course you'd rather have a CF than a good 1B).

Franklin is probably going to provide the Mariners with a league-average, low-salary SS real quick here.  Figgins will play 3B.  That positions your Yahtzee card to just cram bats into your OF and DH slots.


We're not saying the job is done.  We're reminding, just how thunderously perfect the M's scenario is with these two.  They've got their Braun and Weeks.


Q.  Are Ackley and Smoak the best ML-ready prospects in the game?

A.  Jason Heyward is a little better than they are, and Buster Posey is as good.  Jesus Montero isn't quite ML-ready; he's as good overall as Smoak, a better hitter but worse at anything that doesn't require a bat in your hands. 

There are other glam guys, of course.  But the fact is, you could reasonably argue Ackley and Smoak as the #1 and #2 franchise hopefuls in baseball.  Except for Heyward.

Mariners fans need to drop the "No Cheering In The Press Box" shackles and wake up.  The Mariners right now have a Rays-type storm brewing in the minor leagues.


Q.  Two players.  One LH and one switch-hit.  One a #3 hitter and one a #4 hitter.  One a doubles guy who can run and draw walks.  The other a 35-homer, 120-RBI guy.  Is that enough to carry an offense?

A.  Show me a team with two ideal 3-4 hitters, say Minnesota, and I'll show you a team that figured out how to score runs somehow.

But the M's also have:

  • Nick Franklin, whom if Ackley and Smoak weren't here would be a legit glam spect
  • A 8-to-make-2 situation in OF with Halman, Wilson, Saunders, Raben, Morban, etc
  • Triunfel and Liddi and Moore etc

  • The farm system rated #1 (one) in baseball for hitting by Baseball Prospectus before Smoak got here
  • The #2 or #3 overall in the next draft

It is simply amazing that the 2010 Mariners, at this time of day, was able to put up an offense worse than the ones I watched in the 70's and 80's.  But that's not going to be the lineup for long.


Part 4



Taro's picture

Ms are definetly on the way up.
Prospects are prospect though and theres still a ton of work to do on this roster. '11 will be an audition year for all of these guys to see who fits.
The biggest needs right now are SS, high upside SP, and DH. We've got potential at every other position in the minors.

Taro's picture

Ackley I'm the highest on. Great eye, very good contact skills, decent to below-average power, and great speed and athleticism which make me believe he'll figure it out eventually at 2B. The only question mark is his arm and how good the D is going to get. A pretty decent shot here at a star player.
After watching Smoak swing, I don't see him as a potential star anymore. Great eye, average defense, good power, not a particularly quick swing though, not very athletic, will be 24 coming into next season and needs start showing results. Smoak still has a very good shot at being an above-average regular ( low to mid 800s OPS with average D type), but I'm not buying stardom anymore with him.
Pineda... Upside through the roof, high risk arm.


But agree that Ackley's an even greater natural talent.
It's interesting to watch them hit in sequence for Tacoma.  Smoak is all half positions, checked swings; Ackley is absolutely still until the moment of truth, and then just unleashes on the ball.
You're aware Champ of the tendency to get disappointed when a pheenom fails his first couple tries at the bigs.  Ackley hasn't shown us his keister yet, so looks more glamorous since he's unbeaten, untied and unscored on.  ;- )

Taro's picture

Ya, but its really the swing that suprised me with Smoak more so than just the results. I was expecting something comparable to Tex given all the hype.. His swing is not at that level.
He does have a great eye though and there must be something there that the scouts saw.. .260/.360/.480? I think he can do that..He needs to start hitting though next season.

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