A Fun Comparison
Disclaimer: College statistics don’t mean all that much. This is more for fun than any kind of serious analysis.
Dustin Ackley, 2009, North Carolina: 190 AB, 76 H, 11 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 39 BB, 22 K, .400/.508/.726
Evan Longoria, 2006, Long Beach State: 201 AB, 72 H, 13 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 40 BB, 29 K, .353/.468/.602
Longoria, obviously, has turned himself into a monster of a hitter. He’s currently hitting .362/.411/.741 for the Rays, and he’s probably the best non-Pujols player in baseball. When he was drafted, he was looked at as a premium defender with a good but not great bat.
Ackley doesn’t have Longoria’s power or defensive abilities, but I do think that we might have undersold his offensive ceiling a bit. There’s Nick Markakis upside with him (though that’s the best case scenario), and right now, he’s pulled himself away from the pack for me. If the draft was tomorrow, I’d be lobbying for Ackley fairly hard. The M’s could really use a young guy with those offensive skills.