Dustin Ackley

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Dustin Ackley
Dustin Ackley on March 28, 2012.jpg
Seattle Mariners – No. 13
Second baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1988-02-26) February 26, 1988 (age 26)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 17, 2011 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through April 5, 2014)
Batting average .246
Home runs 23
Runs batted in 123
Teams

Dustin Michael Ackley (born February 26, 1988) is an American professional baseball second baseman/left fielder with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. Ackley was drafted and selected second overall by the Mariners in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. After going through a transformation to develop his skills defensively at second base, he joined the Mariners June 17, 2011, and is now a starting outfielder for the club.

Amateur career[edit]

High school[edit]

Ackley attended North Forsyth High School in his senior year, where he pitched and played third base.[1] Ackley also played three years at South Stokes High School. He earned preseason and postseason Louisville Slugger All-American honors as a senior. He was Conference Player of the Year as a junior. He helped South Stokes to North Carolina 1A state titles in 2003 and 2004.

On the academics side of high school he was a member of the A Honor Roll.[2]

College[edit]

Ackley attended the University of North Carolina. He enjoyed one of the finest offensive seasons in program history in 2007. He set Carolina single-season records and led the nation with 119 hits, 296 at-bats and 73 games played. He started all 73 games, including 65 at first base. He hit .402 to become just the fifth Tar Heel to bat over .400 in a single season. His 74 runs set a UNC rookie record.

He was the national freshman of the year, earning top rookie billing from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com. He claimed the S.H. Basnight Award as Carolina's most valuable position player. Ackley and the Tarheels made it to the final round of the College World Series, losing to Oregon State.

In 2008 Ackley started all 68 games, 60 at first base and eight in left field. He hit .417 on the season with a school-record 82 runs scored, seven home runs, 51 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He ranks as the only player in Carolina history to hit over .400 twice in a career and also posted Carolina top-10 single-season totals in hits, walks, total bases and at-bats. Ackley once again participated in the 2008 College World Series

Ackley earned All-America honors for the second straight season. He also was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur baseball player, and on watch lists for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Brooks Wallace Award. He again won the S.H. Basnight Award.

He again participated in the 2009 College World Series. Ackley has the most hits in NCAA history in the College World Series.[3] He was a finalist for the 2009 Golden Spikes Award (behind Stephen Strasburg).

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

2009: Draft and signing[edit]

He was the second selection in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.[4] On August 17, prior to the midnight ET deadline, it was reported that Ackley signed a deal valued at $9.5 million with the Seattle Mariners;[5] however, it was later confirmed that Ackley signed a five-year major league deal worth $7.5 million total: $6 million bonus, $1.5 million in guaranteed salaries, with another $2.5 million possible in salaries depending on how quickly he reached the majors.[6]

The deal was later confirmed and an agreement was reached between the Mariners and his agent Scott Boras about 15 minutes before the signing deadline.[7]

On August 31 Ackley and the Mariners officially signed his five-year major-league deal, worth at least $7.5 million. Ackley wore a Mariners uniform with the number 13, his college number at North Carolina. The Mariners held a news conference and Ackley met with the Mariners players in the clubhouse. Ken Griffey Jr. marveled loudly that he had found a player skinnier than outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.[8] Ackley also took batting practice as a part of the day's festivities.[9][10]

Ackley was assigned to the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League joining fellow prospects Phillippe Aumont, Josh Fields, Anthony Varvaro, Nick Hill, Joe Dunigan, Carlos Triunfel and Juan Díaz.[11] Ackley was chosen as an Arizona Fall League Rising Star on November 2.[12] On November 20, Ackley was named Arizona Fall League MVP.[13]

2010: Move to second base[edit]

First reported by the Mariners' infield instructors, Ackley will be trying to play second base. He came to University of North Carolina as a shortstop but later moved to centerfield, and then later to first base. UNC coach Mike Fox first tried to play Ackley at second base, but later settled in the outfield. Fox said of the transition, "I think he has the athletic skills to make it work." [14]

Ackley made his debut at second base for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (the Mariners' Southern League AA affiliate) on April 8, 2010, the Southern League's opening day. Ackley led off, going 0–4 with a walk and a strikeout.[15]

2011: Call-up[edit]

The Mariners promoted Ackley from the Tacoma Rainiers for his first major league start at second base on June 17, 2011.[16] Ackley hit a single in his first at bat against the Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Oswalt on June 17. Ackley recorded his first major league home run on June 18 and his first major league triple on June 19. Ackley finished the season with a .273 average as he was voted MVP of the Seattle Mariners by the Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

2012[edit]

On March 28, 2012, Ackley made his season debut in Japan at second base. In his second at-bat, Ackley hit a home run to deep center field off right-hander Brandon McCarthy, the first homer of the season.[17]

2013[edit]

On May 4, 2013, Ackley recorded his first career grand slam in a 8–1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.[18]

On May 27, 2013, Ackley, unable to stay consistently above the Mendoza Line, was sent down to the Tacoma Rainiers to work on his offense. Due to the Robinson Cano signing Ackley has been mentioned in multiple trade rumors and has permanently changed position to an outfielder.

References[edit]

External links[edit]