My First Ackley Blog Post

Out of the last 13 months at my own blog and all the many different posts I’ve written about the minor league, I’ve never written anything about Dustin Ackley. This just seems rather wrong.

So while playing around with Fangraphs I got to looking at Dustin Pedroia, who I’ve always thought was a better comparison for Ackley than Chase Utley. Which was then followed by a trip to Baseball-Reference.

Below is a small comparison of some of their minor league statistics from B-R.

Pedroia 21 51 240 255 356 382 738 1 of 1 24 17
Ackley 22 52 237 274 338 439 776 2 of 3 20 38
Utley 23 125 534 263 352 461 813 8 of 11 46 89

Something to consider as you look at the chart above Ackley was promoted to AAA his first season of professional baseball. Both Pedroia and Utley were in their third year as a minor leaguers. Both saw their careers start in A ball and worked their way up.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to put this together. But, I just hadn’t seen it anywhere. I personally like the Pedroia comparison for Ackley opposed to Utley.

With those minor league numbers in mind, I thought I’d take a look at the Major League Equivalents using projectionist Sean Smiths’ formula and calculator.

Projected MLE BA OBP SLG
Pedroia 213 300 311
Ackley 238 292 364
Utley 221 297 375

While it’s a little sad to see, it’s not completely off either. Take a look at Utley and Pedroia’s first season/taste of the big leagues below.

First full Season Name AB BA OBP SLG
2006 Pedroia 89 191 258 303
2003 Utley 134 239 322 373

It shows how there is an adjustment time for these young players. I would like to take this time just to remind people that Ackley is going struggle. Write this down now and take it to the bank. He’s most likely not going to hit .335 and be named to an all-star team. But, he still has a bright future. Don’t automatically just throw him into the “he will never hit” Mariner prospect category.

Next Mariners Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Aug 3131 Aug1:10Washington NationalsBuy Tickets

Tags: Chase Utley Dustin Ackley Dustin Pedroia

  • Lonnie

    I have purposely not climbed on board the “Ackley is great” bandwagon because I have grown a bit weary of having prospects tear up the minors, and then fizzle with the big club. I am willing to sit back and wait on both Ackley and Smoak to show me something, and that is the key, “show me something”.

    I don’t need either of them to be putting together All-Star performances, just show that they have the chops to be good regulars at the MLB level more often then showing that they are in over their heads.

    Oh, and since we are on the topic of rookies (of sorts), I’ve already copyrighted the phrase “Pineda Grenada” for those innings that he will have when everything turns to crap on him.


  • Harrison Crow

    HAHA! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be paying royalties on this.

    • Lonnie

      Did you happen to see/read the writeup I did on Pineda at the MC?

  • http://Retired maqman

    Valid point Harrison, I’m sure a lot of folks figure he’s going to be great from the git go. I’m pretty comfortable that he will end a better than average major leaguer in the long run. Sooner is better than later but later is better than never.

  • Keith Myers

    I’m a little more optimistic on Ackley in terms of the long term. I doubt he’ll have much of an impact on 2011 at all, but i think that once’s he’s adapted he’ll be better than Pedoria. Ackley’s adjustment to being a pro ballplayer in AA,and getting promoted to AAA took some time, but once he got adapted he really excelled at both levels. You also have to remember that he was sorking to switch to 2B, a positino he’s never played before.

    To me I think that looking at his total stat line and not examining his trends skews the data a bit. I also think it’s telling that his AAA numbers were much better than his AA numbers.

    • Lonnie

      It bothers me, a lot, when a player or his proponents use a position switch as an excuse for unacceptable offensive production.

      That whole thing last year with Figgins irritated me to no end. The guys are the best of the best of the best and should be able to compartmentalize the different aspects of the game away from each other.


    • Harrison

      Hey may or may not be better than Pedroia long-term. Only time will tell but that’s a huge statement. Pedroia is one of the most under-rated players in all of baseball (IMO) and a perennial 4 -6 WAR player. If Ackley even becomes a 5 WAR player I’ll be satisfied with that.

      Pedroia’s 2009 is pretty much exactly what I’d hope Ackley would become. If he’s more great, if he’s less… well… We’ll deal with that when the time comes.