Seattle Mariners: Is Dustin Ackley Ready for the Jump to the Big Leagues?

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Seattle Mariners: Is Dustin Ackley Ready for the Jump to the Big Leagues?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Dustin Ackley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 Draft, could make his pro debut at some point this season.

Ask people who was selected right after Stephen Strasburg went first overall in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, and there's a good chance you're left with blank faces.

Dustin Ackley, the second overall selection, or rather, the player picked after Strasburg, was a highly touted selection from the University of North Carolina.

As a freshman, Ackley was named by Baseball America and Rivals.com as the Consensus National Freshman of the Year where he set a school record for most hits in a season with 119. Ackley hit .402 with 10 home runs, 73 RBI and was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.

As a sophomore, Ackley set a school record for runs scored with 82 and became the first player in school history to bat over .400 twice in a career.

His junior season, Ackley put the icing on the cake of an otherwise brilliant career as he was named by Rivals.com as the National Player of the Year. Ackley also ended his Carolina career as the leader in hits, runs and total bases.

His brilliant career was capped when he was selected No. 2 overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2009 draft.

In his first season in the minors, Ackley spent time in both Double and Triple-A ball and was named League MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

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MLB.com recently ranked Ackley No. 5 overall on their annual list of the Top 50 Prospects in Baseball.

Now, two years after being drafted, Ackley has a chance to make the jump to the big leagues.

A natural first baseman, Ackley is making the move to second since the Mariners are locked down at first base after acquiring Justin Smoak from the Texas Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal.

Only time will tell how soon Dustin Ackley will officially become a MLB player, but one thing is certain—barring any unforeseeable circumstances, Ackley will be the starting second baseman for the Seattle Mariners before the 2011 season is over.

 

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