Though Dustin Ackley hasn’t maintained the torrid clip he had coming out of the All-Star break, he had an extremely productive month at the plate, providing speed, patience, and a fair amount of power in the 2-hole of the lineup.
For the month of August he stats looked like: .272/.318/.505 triple slash line in 103 at-bats, with 18 runs, 28 hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs and 20 RBI. That is quite the productive month.
This last week alone Ackley has hit .346 with a double, 2 triples, and a home run.
So where did this power surge come from? It seems as if Ackley has changed his mechanics at the plate, with faster bat speed and better control he has been able to spray the balls to all fields and make consistently forceful contact.
In his 122 at-bats as the 2nd man in the batting order the Ack Attack has hit .270/.310/.484 for a .794 OPS which is much better than the Mariners have been getting from anyone else this season batting second.
Ackley has also doubled his home run total while batting second in front of Robinson Cano.
With Ackley’s improved productivity at the plate and developed skills in the outfield, Ackley has made himself into a valuable piece to the Mariners’ winning formula. According to baseball reference the Mariners left fielder has been worth 1.7 WAR on the season, while ESPN has him at that very same number.
As the Mariners turn the calendar over to September, Ackley’s continued production will be key to a playoff run. The depth in the outfield is severely lacking, especially with Michael Saunders‘ prolonged rehab stint with his paternity leave and subsequent contraction of Fifths Disease from his newborn daughter.
If Ackley can maintain a .280/.320/.440 line for the month of September, he will be scoring lots of runs and driving in just as many, something that would give the Mariners a real shot at the postseason.
And though he isn’t the end-all-be-all piece to the Mariners’ playoff potential, he is a necessary component to their potential success.