My Preferred 2014 Second Baseman

Dave · September 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

A few months ago, Dustin Ackley moved to the outfield because it looked like Nick Franklin was taking the second base job for the foreseeable future. Since then, Nick Franklin has been atrocious, while Dustin Ackley has showed some signs of life. Both have shown flashes of their potential, and both have had flaws exposed, raising legitimate questions about their long term value.

Here are their season to date numbers through Labor Day, followed by a poll asking a simple question that I’m curious to see the results of: based on what you’ve seen this year, which one would you rather have starting at second base on Opening Day next year?

Nick Franklin 328 10% 27% 0.176 0.272 0.220 0.293 0.395 0.304 -6.6 -0.5 0.1
Dustin Ackley 348 6% 17% 0.090 0.300 0.252 0.301 0.343 0.286 -5.7 2.8 0.1


66 Responses to “My Preferred 2014 Second Baseman”

  1. G-Man on September 3rd, 2013 3:21 pm

    I don’t see enough trade value in either one to deal them. I don’t see enough hope of contending in 2014 to worry about one of them being in the way, unless the payroll budget suddenly goes up by $50 million. They’re both cheap for what they offer. Hoping for improvement, especially by Nick, seems to be the best shot.

  2. smb on September 3rd, 2013 3:27 pm

    I voted Ackley, like WG for the apparently better glove at 2B. I believe there’s a naturally good hitter hiding in there, and for some maddening reason it takes longer to come out if they’re forced to don a Mariners uniform for every game.

  3. scraps on September 3rd, 2013 3:30 pm

    I chose Ackley, because Dave asked, but I figure nobody cares about the reasons — just a moderately educated fan’s opinion, which means pretty much squat. (I could say why, but really, is anyone going to change their mind exposed to my opinion?)

    Basically, I want Dave’s opinion. (And Marc’s, and Jeff’s.)

  4. smb on September 3rd, 2013 3:44 pm

    I care to hear why, scraps…but I share the opinion so there’s no mind to change anyway. I think a team starting both of these guys every day is likely not a team competing for a championship (or, sadly, a division), unless they eventually both turn into plus bats, which is something that seems pretty unlikely from this vantage point. But we’re so far from that ultimate goal at this point that it may not be particularly relevant at the moment. A better question is ‘Are they better than what/who they replaced?’ and I’m more comfortable with that perspective on the situation at this point, anyway. Bottom line for me is they are eminently more watchable than Figgins, Yuni and Lopez, and all the other scrubs we’ve had over the past few years of futility, so you won’t catch me complaining about either of them anyway.

  5. Typical Idiot Fan on September 3rd, 2013 5:13 pm

    The key part of Dave’s statement is “trying to win”… D’ya think we might want to adjust it a bit?

    I’m not even sure why he should make that qualification either. There’s nothing right now that indicates the Mariners are ready to win in 2014. Even if Z becomes an official lame duck next season (which we thought he was this season), that doesn’t imply that he’s going to scrap the things he’s started and go crazy with shuffling Titanic’s deck chairs.

    But to answer your question, if the Mariners are looking to win in 2014, they shock the world by throwing a crap ton of money at Robinson Cano to play second base and worry about what to do with Ackley / Franklin afterward. That wont happen, of course, but if we’re talking about serious attempts at trying to increase the team’s overall ability to win, Cano would be a great start.

    Turning 2014’s squad into a winner in 2014 requires a lot more than discussing Ackley or Franklin as a second baseman, but in that regard Cano would be the most effective move for 2014’s winning chances regarding a second base choice. I don’t think either Ackley nor Franklin could come close to matching Cano’s 5-6 win potential.

  6. Eastside Suds on September 3rd, 2013 5:18 pm

    “I don’t think there’s any question Ackley is the better defender at second base”.

    Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more. I think posters here have gone south on Nick because of his horrendous second half at the plate. He has been horrendous, but so did most of our “kids” when they first came up. Miller hasn’t really hit that yet and Zunino has way too small of a sample size offensively. Smoak and Ackley both struggled mightily as did Montero.

    I have seen half a dozen games this year in person and have watched almost every game on Root. Dustin is solid on every routine ground ball. I will definitely give him that. However, it was so maddening to me (an infield JC and HS coach for over 30 years) to watch Dustin trying to turn a double play. His feet around the bag were awful when recieving a six hole feed. His lack of arm strength showed EVERY time he threw as the ball died on its way to 1st.

    Franklin is/was a shortstop. Obviously he is a really talented young man. He has better feet. He has more ultimate talent than Dustin at the position. And there is absolutely no contest between arms. Franklin has a BIG league middle infield arm. So much better than Dustin physically, it is rather obvious.

    I know Franklin has made more errors. Maybe he has gotten to a few more balls than Dustin did? He obviously has made more errors as hit hitting has gone south. Again, another symptom of youth. What I do know from watching the team this year, is that Ackley failed to turn an innordinate amount of routine double plays when he was playing second sack. Franklin has turned a dozen or so that Ackley would have never turned. I don’t know if there is a stat for that. I’m sure there is somewhere.

    Errors are errors and young players who struggle at the plate usually make plenty of them. But, moving forward, if you are just looking at future value at 2nd base, it’s really not even a consideration (IMO) to replace Franklin with Ackley UNLESS the former can’t hit at this level. Then you have no choice.

  7. scraps on September 3rd, 2013 5:38 pm

    Lots of people allege that Franklin is better defensively at second base, but the defensive stats disagree; at least, they did last time I checked. Ackley was pretty good at second base. (And yes, lots of people don’t care for defensive stats. I disagree; or least, I want people who see them every day, probably professionally, before I change my mind.) (Like I said, I am just one fan blah blah blah; I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, either.)

  8. Eastside Suds on September 3rd, 2013 5:43 pm

    There is no question on the errors. 9 to 1. But, one is younger and has way less MLB experience. The one who has 9 errors gets to more balls and turns more double plays.
    I tend to look at players on their skill level much quicker than I look at success, especially when they are rookies plucked right out of the minors before their time.
    I hope they BOTH succeed and do great things for this organization. I really like them both!

  9. taylor.mariner on September 3rd, 2013 7:21 pm

    Give me Ackley or give me death!

  10. eponymous coward on September 4th, 2013 7:43 am

    There’s nothing right now that indicates the Mariners are ready to win in 2014.

    Then why on earth are they paying Felix Hernandez top dollar? You hardly need players making 25 million+ a year if your goal is to win 75 games and develop kids forever. Trading your players who are commanding top dollar for a boatload of prospects is the tried and true method of going “we’re waiting for next year”.

    There’s also plenty of examples of teams going from 70-75 wins to taking a next step. Just in this league, just in the last two years: Baltimore, Cleveland and KC.

  11. Mariner.lovechild on September 4th, 2013 9:04 am

    We can’t wait forever with every prospect. It ain’t fair, but it ain’t realistic either. Trade Franklin before it’s complete bust. Up to high heaven in prospects…

    I’m not basing it so much on numbers, although defensively they agree with me: Ackley looks better out there at 2B. Even at the plate, I like his approach, faltering as it may be, more than Franklin’s.

    And to be vain, I’m sorry, but that oversized batting helmet on Franklin… looks like a goof.

  12. currcoug on September 4th, 2013 10:08 am

    Franklin is 22 years old, and has all of 329 plate attempts. Do you really think that qualifies as “waiting forever”? Where are those “small sample size” people in regards to Franklin?

    I also agree with Eastside’s excellent analysis.

  13. Mariner.lovechild on September 4th, 2013 10:37 pm

    Nope, I’m saying bail out now before another 329 plate attempts. So much time already invested in Ackley, so I’d just personally rather see him play where he’s best. And would rather another team raise young Franklin, especially if he’s in a package for an OF. But I’m just a fan like you.

  14. Mariner.lovechild on September 4th, 2013 10:43 pm

    Ackley was only a gold glove finalist in ’12….

  15. CSG on September 5th, 2013 4:52 am

    Franklin is 22, and even with the terrible slump over the last month, has outhit Dustin Ackley’s career MLB numbers this year. His strikeout’s are concerning, but he’s improved at every level, especially with K%. He came up as a shortstop, and even with the error issues and positioning issues, I don’t see him as drastically worse than Ackley in the field at 2b. It’s really strange to see people giving up on Franklin already, especially when it’s not quite an either/or proposition. Franklin can stay down if he needs the work, Ackley can force the hand if he decides he can hit a line drive 30% of the time, or hit with some sustainable power.

  16. Typical Idiot Fan on September 7th, 2013 7:23 am

    Then why on earth are they paying Felix Hernandez top dollar?

    Just noticed this, so pardon my tardiness in replying. I realize you’re asking this rhetorically to make a broader point, but it, along with this question, is asinine.

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