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Dustin Ackley already has quite an eye for the strike zone

Aug 5, 2011, 1:05 AM EDT


In case you haven’t noticed, Dustin Ackley has been on quite a tear of late.

The Seattle Mariners rookie, drafted No. 2 overall behind Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft, has a .315/.377/.559 line in 39 games since being called up from Class-AAA Tacoma. His OPS+ is 165, the fifth highest OPS+ ever for a rookie with at least 150 plate appearance.

He’s showing unexpected power as well, with five home runs and five triples. (Although to be fair, one of those triples was a line drive that Ryan Sweeney botched badly, and another was a bit fluky and involved an Ichiro impersonator. Ackley has wheels, but he’s not exactly Jose Reyes.)

Anyway, Jeff Sullivan at Lookout Landing has a nice breakdown of what Ackley has done so far, and ponders the possibility that it’s pointless to guess what Ackley will become, because Mariners fans might already be seeing his best, and that’s a good thing.

One thing’s for certain, the 23-year-old seems to know the strike zone. Below are two charts, courtesy of Texas Leaguers. The first shows pitches from lefties that Ackley has swung at, the second shows pitches he has taken. Impressive.














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  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    He seems to be a fun player to watch. Some positive news for the Mariners is a down year.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 5, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    That’s my boy!!! My new 2B is quite fantastic. Dude became the M’s best hitter in one week’s time in the majors.

  3. Reflex - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Best thing that happened to the M’s recently is ‘losting out’ on the Strasburg sweepstakes. They needed offense anyways, but honestly I think this is similiar to the Prior vs Mauer situation in 01, and long term I think Ackley is the better pickup, at least based on team needs(as well as my own suspicions about Stras’ delivery motion).

  4. macjacmccoy - Aug 6, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    i think the ichiro impersonator made it harder for him to get the triple not easier so I dont know why you mentioned that as a way to discount the amount of power he has shown. It seems to be counter productive.

  5. Bob Harkins - Aug 8, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    It was a fluky play that included an Ichiro impersonator, but I did not mean to imply that the Ichiro impersonator caused the triple, because you are right, he didn’t. It was a fluky triple, though. The line drive would have been a single or double to the right fielder. But it glanced off the glove of diving A’s first baseman Connor Jackson, which caused it to roll slowly into foul territory, where the Ichiro impersonator picked it up.

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