Coming into the season, I was not a fan of Mariners second base prospect Dustin Ackley. I ranked him behind Jason Kipnis and Brett Lawrie in my pre-season Fantasy Second Base Prospect Rankings over at Minor League Ball. I am starting to think I ranked him too low, and am curious where he should be ranked going into 2012 drafts.
In AAA this season, he was hitting .303-.421-.487 with 9 HRs, 35 RBIs, 57 runs, 7 SBs and a crazy 38-55 K/BB rate. He was ranked as the 7th best prospect in all of MLB coming into the season by ESPN's Keith Law, and here are some of KLaw's thoughts:
At the plate, Ackley started horribly when the Mariners chose to be aggressive and start him in Double-A, but he redeemed himself and the organization by the All-Star break. After a doubleheader on May 3, Ackley was hitting .139/.292/.215 for Double-A West Tenn. He went 3-for-5 the next day, and .310/.425/.448 with 40 walks and just 25 strikeouts until his mid-July promotion to Tacoma. He's always had a smooth, easy swing, but is keeping his weight back better than he was in 2009 and should have average to above-average power when he reaches his peak. He should be ready for the majors by the middle of 2011.
But, he started slowly out of the gate in 2011 leading some, including me, to wonder what kind of hitter he when he eventually makes it to the big leagues. But, like last season, he caught fire and earned a June promotion to the Mariners lineup.
More on Ackley after the jump:
Since his call up, Ackley has hit .300 in June and .308 thus far in July. Overall, he is hitting .313-.372-.560 with 5 HR, 23 RBIs, 2 SBs and a 19-13 K/BB rate in 134 at bats. Over a full season, these numbers project out to a 20 HR-80 RBI-.300+ BA hitter. Now, I am not saying he will be that kind of hitter in 2012, but if he can go 15-75-15-.300 in 2012, he could be a top 5-7 second baseman heading into 2012 drafts.
I am not ready to say he is a Top 5 fantasy second baseman right now, but if he continues hitting like he is now, he could be one of the hyped hitters in the offseason. And if he continues hitting like this, I will have to admit I was wrong on him. Sometimes patience is required when evaluating hitters, especially hitters like Ackley.