Mariners Analysis: M’s Former 1st Round Picks, Where are they Now?

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Jun 3, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley (left) is tagged out at home plate by New York Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy (66) during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

2009: Dustin Ackley – OF – University of North Carolina – Pick 2

Many pundits hailed Jack Zduriencik’s first selection as general manager as a home run, but the career of Dustin Ackley has been a roller coaster. It was an easy decision to select Ackley after he starred with the North Carolina Tar Heels for 3 seasons. The Ack-Attack was hands down the best college hitter in 2009, posting a .417 batting average with 22 home runs, 73 RBI’s and 13 stolen bases. Many people point to the fact that the Mariners had a chance to select Mike Trout and didn’t, but Ackley was the right pick at the time.

Ackley ascended quickly through the minor leagues, reaching the big leagues in 2011. He combined to slash .290/.397/.443 in the Mariners’ system, and was ranked by Baseball America as a top 15 prospect in 2010 and 2011. As a 23-year-old rookie, Ackley tore up the big leagues, hitting .273 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI’s through 90 games in 2011. He also posted a respectable .348 on base percentage and slugged .417.

However, things have gone south in recent years. The Ack-Attack is hitting just .236 with 34 home runs and 157 RBI’s during his last 459 games. He has also registered a dismal OBP of .296 and slugged .353 over his last 1,777 plate appearances. The 27-year-old played a key role for the M’s last summer, but he has failed to carry over last season’s success.

Ackley began his career as a second baseman, but has since made the successful transition to the outfield. Fans have not been shy about voicing their displeasure with the bearded beauty, but no one is complaining about his ability in the field.

I think it is safe to say that Dustin Ackley’s days are numbered in Seattle. He is having his worst season as a pro in 2015, and appears lost at the plate. He has crumbled under the pressure of being the former no.2 overall pick, and a change of scenery would likely do him good. I have always liked Ackley, but I think he time has come to move on.

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