Another Ackley Update

Jay Yencich · November 3, 2010 at 10:36 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Dave already provided me with a segue below, saying “Dustin Ackley is the future at second base.” So, in the interests of another update, Ackley went 4-for-4 with his third home run for the Peoria Javelinas last night, which was the fourth time in his nine starts since getting back that he managed to get multiple hits. It was the seventh time in that span that he’d reached base safely twice or more. Taking into account the fact that he ended up missing about a week for the busted thumb, you have him with a safely reached streak spanning eleven games, his entire season.

We’ve cautioned people over the years to be skeptical of most AFL performances. The ball carries and teams aren’t inclined to send many of their top pitchers down there. However, after a certain point you can get a little excited, and here are some reasons to like what Ackley is doing. The .417 average is certainly something, but there’s also the fact that fact that he has five more walks than Ks, and that four of his eight Ks came his first two games back. His thirteen walks lead the league, and the two guys immediately behind him have logged seven and eight more at-bats. They don’t have .400 averages either. There’s also the fact that 40% of his hits have gone for extra bases right now. All the slash line categories, average, on-base percentage, slugging, Ackley leads the league. His 1.310 OPS is .125 higher than the next guy.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to people that Ackley was named to the Rising Stars roster, along with teammate RHP Josh Fields, who I might have more on later. The only thing the Mariners can find to complain about these days is that he isn’t stealing enough bases, as if he wasn’t doing enough to embarrass pitchers of late. It’s further testament to how far he’s come since this past April. By this coming April, the Mariners may have to come up with some pretty good excuses to keep him off the roster.


22 Responses to “Another Ackley Update”

  1. maqman on November 3rd, 2010 11:21 am

    Thanks for the update Jay. I agree it’s a small sample size but also hard not to get encouraged by his performance. He just might be ready for The Show next season.

  2. cliffjohnson on November 3rd, 2010 11:32 am

    Looks like a hitter, not a second baseman.

  3. B13a on November 3rd, 2010 11:45 am

    Unbelievable. I hope he continues his tear into 2011, whether it’s in the minors or majors just so he can shut those stupid haters up.

  4. littlelinny6 on November 3rd, 2010 12:14 pm

    Jay, speaking of things that could keep Ackley off the M’s roster, what are scouts saying about his defense at 2B? Seems to me that would be the main reason he could start 2011 in Tacoma.

  5. StatisticallyInsignificant on November 3rd, 2010 12:44 pm

    Thanks for this ray of hope Jay!

  6. the tourist on November 3rd, 2010 1:58 pm

    If in 2011 Ackley can do for the Mariners what he’s done in a combination of AA/AAA/AFL in 2010; if Smoak can simply repeat his September in 2011; if Figgins can do at the plate what he did in the final four months of the season; our offense will have a serious shot in the arm.

  7. gwangung on November 3rd, 2010 2:14 pm

    Shoot, if they’re just frickin’ league average, they’re a shot in the arm.

  8. Westside guy on November 3rd, 2010 2:22 pm

    Shoot, if they’re just frickin’ league average, they’re a shot in the arm.

    Agreed. I hate to admit it, but after last year I’d probably be satisfied (for a while anyway) by a bunch of position players with .330 OBPs.

  9. the tourist on November 3rd, 2010 2:44 pm

    Shoot, if they’re just frickin’ league average, they’re a shot in the arm.

    True. I’m hoping that the young guys (Ackley, Smoak, Saunders, Moore, etc.) can average being slightly above league average at the plate between them.

    Agreed. I hate to admit it, but after last year I’d probably be satisfied (for a while anyway) by a bunch of position players with .330 OBPs.

    My brother and I discussed this all through 2010 w/r/t the young guys–our semi-realistic hope was that between C/1B/2B/SS/LF we could have an average slash line of .265/.330/.400 (and improving slightly each season as the young guys get more seasoned).

  10. Klatz on November 3rd, 2010 2:57 pm

    Johermyn Chavez appears to doing well in Venezuela,

    29 AB 13/10 K/BB .322/.420/.525

    Is the apparent plate discipline just small sample size or a deliberate effort on his part?

  11. the tourist on November 3rd, 2010 3:04 pm

    29 AB 13/10 K/BB .322/.420/.525

    This line is impossible, by the way.

  12. Jay Yencich on November 3rd, 2010 3:22 pm

    Nothing’s impossible you just gotta believe, man.

    Chavez actually has 63 ABs and is hitting .317/.411/.524. He’s doing all right for himself right now so I think he’ll snag a 40-man spot in the winter.

  13. the tourist on November 3rd, 2010 3:27 pm

    Nothing’s impossible you just gotta believe, man.

    I just meant it was impossible to have a .322 batting average in 29 ABs. 🙂

  14. Jay Yencich on November 3rd, 2010 4:13 pm

    Oh right yeah that’s impossible.

  15. Breadbaker on November 3rd, 2010 5:29 pm

    It’s hard to steal bases when you hit a home run, too.

  16. Jay Yencich on November 3rd, 2010 6:26 pm

    Ackley walked twice today. So he’s now at seven more walks than Ks.

  17. GoldenGutz on November 3rd, 2010 8:01 pm

    And he turned 3 DP. The only thing holding him back is his defense and he can work on that throughout his career. Looks like we have a superstar in the making.

  18. Klatz on November 3rd, 2010 9:59 pm

    The numbers were from the Mariners Minors website so it must be a typo.
    Currently his line is
    66 AB 13SO/10BB .318/.408/.515

  19. Snake Hippo on November 4th, 2010 2:46 am

    Dustin Ackley will guide us all into a bright new tomorrow.

  20. ssjack on November 4th, 2010 7:38 am

    In all honesty I haven’t followed Seattle but I do know Ackley’s game pretty well being a long-time UNC alum and also having lived 15 minutes from the campus for the past decade. I have watched him many times. You have an unbelievable talent on your roster. He will only get better. Unlike Hamilton, another NC native son, he doesn’t get fooled often at the plate and he bats like he is playing chess. He lulls you into forgetting that he can jack anyone over the fence at any point. However, Ackley doesn’t swing for the fences. He swings to get hits. Don’t worry about his adjustment to second base. If he wasn’t an unbelievable talent, how in the world would he be switching positions and be playing that position in your league? Finally, his most amazing quality is his temperment and consistency. He is a unifier, a teammate who can be a star but never act like he is one. Enjoy him. You’ll be glad you have him. I thought he should have been the top pick of anyone drafting anyone. You’ll know why next yr.

  21. philosofool on November 4th, 2010 11:41 am

    I don’t care about stolen bases at all. If you make your attempt 5% more than the major league average (which incidentally is the break-even rate) it’s worth some paltry quantity of runs in 20 or 30 attempts. If he gets on base .380 and hits 30 doubles, I will love him.

  22. somepants on November 4th, 2010 8:31 pm

    I think a trip to Arizona is in order. I know it’s only been a few days since the WS but I lost interest (but did not stop going to the games) in the Mariners months ago. It feels like ages since I’ve seen some good baseball and this could turn my fall mood around.

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