Ackley the College Hitter of the '00s

Probably old news to you guys, but I hadn't seen this from last week:  Ackley Named Decade's Top Hitter

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Dustin Ackley, the first three-time All-America in North Carolina history ... added another bullet point to his collegiate resume this week when named him the best collegiate hitter of the 2000s.

Kendall Rogers, the college baseball editor for Yahoo! Sports and, had the following to say about Ackley and his decorated career in Chapel Hill:

"There wasn't a more exciting hitter to watch this decade.

"Each time Ackley headed to the plate everyone expected something to happen. What an amazing offensive career he had for the Tar Heels. Ackley batted .402 with 10 homers and 74 RBIs as a freshman... He also earned National Player of the Years. It'll be interesting to see how North Carolina replaces the decade's best hitter. His mark on the program never will be forgotten."

By ranking Ackley at the top of his list, Rogers places Ackley ahead of established major leaguers such as Rickie Weeks, Alex Gordon and Dustin Pedroia.

Rogers is the college baseball editor for Yahoo! and here are his summaries for his ten best college hitters from 2000-2009.

I remember how bummed I was that the M's weren't going to get a chance at Alex Gordon in the draft he came out.  Interesting to think that perhaps the Mariners wound up with a college prospect every bit as good as Gordon.


=== Ackley Index ===

Baker's Nov. 20th report of the move to 2b.

Capt Jack: "We are not etching this into stone to say this guy will be the second baseman of the future,'' Zduriencik said. "It's just something we do.''

Cap-O-Vision Translation:  Don't get bent out of shape, Jose.  Keep playing hard.  Even if it's in Detroit.

Just kiddin'.  As you know, D-O-V has racked up its share of JLo fan points.


Dustin Ackley's Swing Mechanics at SSI.

From August 09.   Exceptionally compact "moving without motion" load, great emotional calmness, both reminding of Ichiro.  Hopefully Ackley winds up showing the same "suprising power" that Ichiro shows.

Has the extra extension that batting coaches will tell you can be the "biscuit" that takes the ball over the fence as opposed to leaving it on the warning track.


Ackley to 2B

May 09 article in which we opined that Ackley probably could move to 2B, and if so, he'd be an easy #1 overall in most (non-Strasburg) drafts.


Dustin Ackley, Bargain Star

SABRMatt article in which he argues that the $9.5M price tag is a bargain one for the M's.

In the comments, Sandy has a front-page-worthy assessment of Ackley's chances to land in Safeco in 2010.


Beating the House

In which Zduriencik contradicts Jemanji's 30%-rule by saying that Ackley will probably be a middle-of-the-order hitter in the major leagues.

I didn't really know that there was such a thing as a AA player who would probably be a MOTO hitter in the AL -- short of Griffey and ARod -- but I guess there is.


Dr D


M's Watcher's picture

With the 2B revelation, the options of Lopez to 3B or trading out of town seem more likely.  I could see Ack at 2B at the Safe in 2010 where I couldn't see him in LF this year.  He's an athlete, a la Biggio or Rose, and I can see him pull this off.  Even if he struggles, I expect he'll hit passably for a 2B and not a butcher in the field, so it's an upgrade, right?


Zduriencik's comment was, "as soon as he can hit a curve ball."
If you traded JLo, signed some sort of Palanco type cheap, like $1-2M, and then Ackley looked super comfortable in spring training ... I wouldn't rule it out.
Planning for 2011 is of course more likely.  But is 2010 possible?  Sure.  J.D. Drew played like 60 games in the minors.

EA's picture

You also have Olerud who didn't play in the minors until his last season in baseball or something.


Weird that Olerud spoiled his "never play a day in the minors" track record right at the end there.
Interesting to take a quick look at PI and see that the mainstream reaction appears to be shock over Ackley's move to 2B.  You'd think that the opinions of Fox and Zduriencik would weigh heavily here.


The Jackamatsu organization places a pretty high value on young players that can cover multiple positions. Tui said as much at the end of the year. Their plans for Triunfel are in line with this. Jack says that they want Ackley to be able to play multiple positions. Why read anything more into it than that? Maybe Ackley is the 2B of the future, maybe he's the CF of the future, maybe he's the LF of the future. Maybe he breaks in from the bench and will need to be able to cover multiple positions. (That's my guess.)
Ryan Braun, BTW, played 112 games at 3B his rookie year before being moved to LF in 2008 and 2009. Jack likes him some position flexibility.


Because it's a complete 180 from their previous position. If on draft day the org had said that they were going to try him at 2nd, no one would have considered it to mean anything, But when they adamantly claim he won't play the infield and then reverse course just when trade talks are heating up, there's a good reason to think that there are larger implications.
And what does Braun prove? That wasn't Jack's call and he was moved because he was absolutely brutal at third, not for any flexibility. He hasn't played an inning at any position but left since then.

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