Top Prospect Dustin Ackley (2B) Debuts for the Mariners Tonight

Image taken from Google Images c/o the Bleacher Report

Dustin Ackley will be making the most highly anticipated Seattle Mariner debut on June 17th 2011 since the debut of one King Felix Hernandez in 2005.

Ackley got off to an abysmal start in April, but he then hit .355/.443/.605 in May and .346/.500/.538 in June. Yes, he’s due for regression away from those numbers, but the entirety of his Triple-A numbers are not built on a house of cards. In his short minor league career, Ackley owns an extremely impressive BB/K of 130/117, which leads many to believe he has a strong chance to make a flawless transition to the Major Leagues, and possibly make a Buster Posey-like impact for the Mariners putrid offense.

Now, I don’t believe in arbitrarily limiting your sample size just because you don’t like parts of it, but even as a Sabermetric fanatic, I’m also a big believer in deferring to scouts in most instances when it comes to minor league talent evaluation. There has never been any doubt among scouts that Ackley will hit in the Major Leagues. Even in both of Ackley’s miserable Aprils (.147/.289/.227 in 2010; .211/.333/.305 in 2011), scouts never wavered.

Ackley’s minor league track record is good but not particularly awe-inspiring on the whole. However, they get more impressive when you add in the fact that he began his pro career in the pitcher-friendly Double-A Texas League instead of getting broken in with a brief stint in the low minors like most top college draftees.

And while Tacoma is more of a hitters park now since its 2011 renovation, it’s still at sea level, which contrasts with the high elevations of the rest of the PCL. Numbers in Tacoma are depressed compared to numbers in, say, Salt Lake.

Both of Ackley’s Aprils drag down his overall minor league career and are not representative of what Ackley will do in the Majors. The aggregate of the rest of his minor league numbers need regression, but be confident that the peak of his Major League career will display better rate stats than his minor league career of .280/.387/.435.


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