5 former "Can't Miss" Mariners prospects that ended up doing just that

Discover the Mariners' top prospects who didn't live up to the hype. From Mike Zunino to Dustin Ackley, find out what went wrong to these highly touted players.

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1. Dustin Ackley, INF

Coming in at number 1, we have Dustin Ackley. Ackley was truly a "Can't miss" type of prospect. He was the first hitter drafted in the 2009 MLB Draft and was the second overall pick in the draft. He was a statistical monster in college for the University of North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to a college national championship appearance. He was the runner-up for the Golden Spikes Award, the award given to the best College Baseball player each year. He lost to the eventual number 1 pick in the draft, Stephen Strasburg.

Ackley flew through the minors, making it to AAA Tacoma in his first year in the minors. Ackley debuted in The Show in 2011, and that only added to his hype. He hit .273/.348/.417/.766 in his rookie season. His OPS+ of 120 was the second-best for the 2011 Seattle Mariners, behind Mike Carp's(!!!) 125 OPS+. The future sure looked bright with Ackley manning second base for the foreseeable future.

It was only down hill from there. He would never have a 100+ OPS+ in his Mariners career again. For his career, he hit ,241/.304/.367/.671. His power never devoloped, and he quit hitting all together after the 2011 season. While he turned out to be a bust, it is hard to blame the front office for selecting him. He was the number 1 ranked hitter in this draft according to just about everyone covering the draft back then. That is kind of a hard take to defend, considering Mike Trout was drafted 25th overall in this very same draft.

These 5 players are some of the cautionary tales as to why it is important not to fall in love with prospects. When you are facing a rebuild, yeah, it is important to stock the farm with as many assets as you can find. When you are a team trying to compete, you have to have the best 26-man roster you can. Sometimes it is necessary to trade prospects to get better. Would you rather have a player who has the potential to be an all-star level player, or would you rather have the all-star player right now?

Try to keep that in mind when the Mariners move prospects we all like for guys who will help them compete in 2024. Yes, the shiny prospects are nice, but I would rather have a mid-pack farm system and a super competitive MLB team, than a top farm system and a middle of the road MLB team. As Always, Go Mariners!