Another Ackley Update
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.