Mariners #5: Dustin Ackley – 7.0 fWAR
All of Mariners nation were so excited when the team drafted Dustin Ackley. He was supposed to be a can’t miss guy, uber-talented, able to play all over the field, with an incredible hit tool. He hit .402, .417, and .417 during his three years at North Carolina, which is hard to comprehend. He showed speed and power, with a good walk rate, low strikeout rate, and was an all-around stud. It seemed too good to be true.
He debuted in 2011, and things were looking good. Ackley was 23, put together a nice little combination of power and speed, hit well with a 117 WRC+, and played good defense. His BABIP of .339 was concerningly high though, and he came back to earth in 2012. He still played good defense, scored a lot of runs, and managed 12/13 HR/SB. He was a combined 5.1 WAR through his age-24 season, and I remember being optimistic about Ackley.
He would put together middling seasons the next two years with fWARs in the low 1s, seemingly getting worse each year. His defense wasn’t good anymore, and the bat wasn’t improving.
He would actually get traded in 2015 to the Yankees. He had a nice second half there but was awful in 2016, and that would be the last time he ever played in the majors. It really seemed like Ackley was going to be passable, at least, for the Mariners. Instead, he just slowly decreased year-by-year, but still did enough to be one of the best to play the position for the Mariners. Up next is the Mariners original speedster.