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Mariners Go With Offense, Ackley With Second Pick

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 21:  First baseman Dustin Ackley #13 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo homer in the second inning to the give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead over the Rice Owls in Game 13 of the NCAA College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 21, 2007 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IJune 10, 2009

When the final mock drafts came out before tonights MLB first-year player draft, most had North Carolina's stud outfielder/first-basemen Dustin Ackley.

The Nationals went the obvious route by nabbing superstar pitcher Stephen Strasburg out of San Diego State as No. 1 overall pick.

The Mariners knew they had to go offense, and they got the best available.

Ackley, a first baseman this season because of his Tommy john surgery, led the Tar Heels to their fourth consecutive College World Series. He batted .412 with 22 home runs and 70 RBIs. He holds school records for most hits (338), most runs scored (225) and total bases (535). He also has hit 39 home runs during his college career.

Ackley's bat speed is second to none and has great contact with the baseball. I'm not sure how quick of an impact he will be, but look for Ackley to be competing for a job within two years or so. The Mariners have high hopes for this young chipper.

He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and first-team Louisville Slugger All-America, becoming the first three-time All-America selection in UNC history.

During last weekend's NCAA Super Regionals against East Carolina. Ackley went 10-for-14 with one home run and three doubles. That might have helped the decision making.

Ackley was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and first-team Louisville Slugger All-America, becoming the first three-time All-America selection in UNC history.

"We think this kid was the best hitter in the Draft," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told the MLB Network draft crew. "This was the guy we thought could be there in a short period of time and help this organization as we move forward."

The Mariners predict to have Ackley as an outfielder, a pretty good one at that. GM Zduriencik said he looks to have this kid competing sooner rather than later.

quotes: MLB.com

 

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