Everybody Loves Dustin

MLB Network released a list of the Top 50 prospects for 2010, and ESPN's Keith Law simultaneously came out with his Top 100.

MLB: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100127&content_id=7983130&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

ESPN: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=4856310&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dlaw_keith%26id%3d4856310 (must be an ESPN insider to get the scouting reports, but the list is on the right-hand side)

MLB: Ackley #15 (Aumont #47)

ESPN: Ackley #8; Triunfel #44; Saunders #74

And some encouraging quotes: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100127&content_id=7984960&vkey=news_sea&fext=.jsp&c_id=sea

From Ackley's Arizona Fall League manager: "The Mariners should be very satisfied with what he has done, but I wouldn't venture to say how close he is [to playing in the Major Leagues]. He has some mechanical things he has to fix, but is intelligent enough that it won't take long to fix them. He is jumping at the plate, but he has good enough hand-eye coordination that even though he's doing something wrong, he still has the hand-eye coordination that allows him to put the ball in play. The power comes when he stays back. It's there. It's definitely there."

I take that to mean that he will still put up strong AVG & OBP regardless, but the SLG will take longer.  But not to freak out about the lack of SLG his first time out of the chute.  He's so good that he'll put up deceptively good numbers even when he's messing up.  Hmmm.

Re second base: 

Ackley returned to the Peoria Sports Complex in early January, following a break for the holidays, and started his work as a second baseman. It has gone so well that the "experiment" might turn out to be permanent.

"I don't like to jump the gun and say it's going to happen," Minor League director Pedro Grifol said, "but in Dustin's mind, he thinks it will happen and is determined to make it happen."

Another "I don't want to get ahead of myself, but . . ." quote.   I take that to mean that Ackley has bought into 2b with both feet, and so far everyone is pinching themselves about good it's going, but they don't want to jinx it.



Thanks for the lists and comments.  I think people against the move forget that Ackley is a talented athlete, played SS in HS and 1B in college.  He would have a slight learning curve to get back into the outfield as it is.  But to have him replace Lopez after this year would be a delight to watch.  True about the hand/eye coordination.  There are more future outfielders than hot infield prospects.  I am glad that the M's were willing to at least experiment, even if it didn't turn out as planned.  Willing to move ahead with a future stud!
Roy Hobbs swinging 'Wonderboy'?

Anonymous's picture

And lack of lower body development, he'll need a magic bat to perform like Roy Hobbs. The Mariners are fortunate Ackley looks capable at second.  


In 2009, he had 22 jacks in 66 (equivalent to 50-55 in an MLB season) games and slugged .763, finishing 2nd in the conference in SLG.
His SLG in three years in the ACC -- comparable to full-seaon class A baseball, even A+ when you get to crunch time -- was .600, .600, .750.
I don't say that Ackley is Jeff Kent, but he's hardly Joey Cora, either :- )

Anonymous's picture

Hobbs bat was wood, was Ackley's? That changes the minor league equlivalent just a bit. Can we put a High Desert asterick next to your SLG%? ; )


Yes, playing against college competition and using aluminum bats makes a difference.  But, playing in Coors doesn't change HR maximums from 40 to 90.  They move from 40 to 50.
Nobody is suggesting Ackley is going to slug .700 in the majors.  But, every other college hitter for the last umpteen years hit THEIR HRs with aluminum, too.  Is there NO college kid who jumps into the bigs and hits 25?  (I personally remember Bob Horner going straight from college All-Star to MLB All-Star w/o passing "Go", (but collecting more than $200 dollars).
The general point, I believe, is that if he was hitting HRs at a 54 per year clip at UNC, then maybe it really isn't much of a reach to think he'll be able to hit 27 per year w/o a long drawn out transition period.

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