After much delay and anticipation, Dustin Ackley is set to make his big league debut.
Ackley was 2-for-4 on the night in a game against Fresno when he was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning by Ryan Langerhans. The announcement was broken live on the Mariners' postgame show.
In 64 games with Tacoma (not including tonight) this season, Ackley hit .300/.418/.487 with nine home runs and 34 runs batted in.
He made the conversion to second base last season, his first as a pro, after being an outfielder and first baseman at the University of North Carolina. While some scouts still think he may end up in the outfield, his defense at second has made strides, as Tacoma Rainers play-by-play man Mike Curto tweeted that Ackley had not made an error in 36 games until last night.
Ackley's approach at the plate is advanced, and there's every reason to believe he could have immediate success.
While our expectations should be tempered with any rookie, Ackley has shown tremendous maturity and the ability to learn quickly. He struggled a little after his call-up to Triple-A and then again to start off 2011, but he turned it on in May and hasn't looked back.
Ackley will be activated Thursday, an off-day for the Mariners, and presumably in the lineup on Friday.