Strasburg Alternative No. 2: Dustin Ackley

October 20, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 38 Comments 

Stephen Strasburg is the consensus No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. Now, as Dave mentioned in the comments here, history shows that the top guy heading into the season rarely ends up being drafted first overall. Still, the Nationals face a PR nightmare if they don’t draft the player *perceived* to be the best after failing to sign the ninth-overall pick this year, Aaron Crow. So, let’s begin to take a look at some of the alternatives to Strasburg that could be an option for the Mariners with the second-overall pick. In part one of this series, I looked at USC shortstop Grant Green. This time, we’ll look at North Carolina 1B/OF Dustin Ackley…

Simply put, Dustin Ackley is one of the best amateur hitters in the country.

Ackley grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C. and played three years of baseball at South Stokes High School where he helped the Sauras win 1A state championships in 2003 and 2004. His senior year, Ackley played for North Forsyth High School where he was a Louisville Slugger All-American. Ackley has good baseball bloodlines, as his father, John, was a third-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 1979 and played in the organization as a catcher, but never made the big leagues.

Despite being ranked as one of the best high school players in the state by Baseball America in 2006, Dustin went undrafted and headed off to Chapel Hill, where he’s really made a name for himself.

Read more