Scouting Mariners Draft Pick Dustin Ackley
Dustin Ackley | CF | B – L | Uni. of North Carolina | Drafted by – Seattle Mariners
Dusty Ackley was widely regarded as the best college bat available in a class of weak bats in this year’s draft. The junior from North Carolina wound up playing first base this past season because of an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He’s almost assuredly going to move back to his natural position in centerfield once scouts are assured his throwing arm is back to full strength.
Body Type – Athletic with some projection…not the biggest guy in the world
A very disciplined hitter with an advanced approach at the plate…excellent pitch recognition…terrific bat control…he’ll foul off tough pitches until he gets one of his liking or he’ll find a hole in the defense — let’s say it’s down the third base line — and he’ll slap at the ball in an effort to line it down the third base line…bat control and high contact rate make him an extremely tough out…power is better than his size would indicate.
While power is better than people think, he’s not a true power hitter…more of a 15 – 20 homerun guy rather than a 25 – 30 homerun hitter…approach is not really suited for big time power. Ackley’s swing plane can also get fairly linear. While he’s solid against lefties, he doesn’t come close to matching his production against right handers.
*Credit to MLB Advanced Media
Ackley does a good job of carrying his weight forward and moving his torso slightly in the opposite direction to create considerable torque.
He keeps his swing short — notice how the bat stays connected with the body as he strides forward — and uses a firm front leg as a base in which to turn on. His keeps his head still, making it easier for him to track the ball in from the pitcher’s hand.
The hips and hands generally turn together, but he has a habit of getting too handsy with his swing. Instead of swinging through the pitch, he’ll sometimes throw his hands at the ball, which often leads to the ball being hit on the ground.
Defense – Along with his plus speed and good instincts in the field, Ackley has the potential to be an above average defender in center field. The question comes with arm strength and accuracy. If he fully recovers from Tommy John surgery as expected, his arm should play fine in center field.
Best Case Outcome – Top-5 center fielder
More Likely Outcome – Above average center fielder
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