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Another Dustin Ackley Photo
Dustin Ackley is the greatest source of near-term-success speculation who doesn't pitch or ride a desk. Ackley is an excellent-hitting second baseman.
Ackley compares very favorably to other great second baseman. Consider Ackley's “triple slash” of batting average/on-base percent/slugging percent. His is .312/.377/.565! Maintaining those number for many seasons buys a player a first class ticket on the Hall-of-Fame train. I don't think it is reasonable to assume continued success at that level for anyone based only on half a season. Even if we lower Ackley's numbers by .030 to .282/.347/.535 he still compares well to the following players.
Ryne Sandberg's career triple slash is .285/.344/.452. Sandberg's age 23 triple slash is .261/.316/.351. Of course Sandberg had a decent year as a 22 year old, putting up a slightly better line, .271/.312/.372.
How about Craig Biggio? His age 23 his triple slash is .257/.336/.402. Biggio's career triple slash is .282/.363/.433.
Look at Joe Morgan. I know, I know, this is pushing it but hey, the sky's the limit in this sort of drill. His triple slash at age 23 is .275/.378/.411. His career triple slash is .271/.392/.427.
If Ackley comes anywhere near the numbers of those second basemen the Mariners' chances of immediate success will be mightily improved.