Will the REAL Dustin Ackley Please Stand Up?

Another flash or is this the real Ack?

Rarely do you see a player with a more crazy up and down, hot or not story as that of the Seattle Mariner’s Dustin Ackley.

It’s crazy to think about but Ackley was taken 23 picks BEFORE the Angels selected Mike Trout.

It kinda gets you right down there in your gut, doesn’t it? 

Who’s name is more recognizable in baseball circles at this point in their careers?  Ackley or Trout?  Imagine for a moment a lineup card that went 2,3,4 with Seager, Cano and Trout?  Sigh!

The good news for the Mariners is that for the moment, it appears Ackley just might be finally delivering on the promise when the M’s made him the 2nd overall pick in 2009.

Let’s take a look at some numbers.  These are Ackley’s batting averages by month for the past two seasons.

Month                  2013                       2014

  • April                     .253                        .243
  • May                       .138                        .221
  • June                      .143                        .165
  • July                       .243                        .365
  • August                 .390                        .266
  • September         .229                        TBD

The First thing I notice when I look at this is that Ackley seems to start out ok but it’s like he hits a wall in May.  It’s very similar to what we see from starting pitchers who sometimes get a dead arm about that same time of year.

To Beard or Not to Beard.  Is this the real Dustin Ackley? (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

To Beard or Not to Beard? Is this the real Dustin Ackley? (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The other thing I notice is that in the last two seasons it takes him through the month of June to figure things out again.  June is clearly not his favorite month to hit in.

Ackley seems to have figured things out a month earlier this year compared to last and got really hot in July as opposed to August last year.

After his hot month, both years he cooled off considerably the following month but it’s the cool off this year I find most interesting.

Ackley is hitting .266 currently for the month of August.  Let’s take a closer look at that month of hitting.

In his last 14 games Ackley his hitting .324 (13-45) including four doubles, a triple, a homer and 9 RBIs.  His OPS in that span is .849.

That suggests to me that Ackley has heated back up after a slow start to August.

It appears that Ackley, while still a bit of a yo-yo, on again off again type of hitter, appears to be coming out of these slumps earlier and the slumps themselves are shorter.

That should be welcome news for Mariners fans who have long waited for Ackley to deliver at the plate consistently.

Every player goes though a slump at sometime in a season.  It’s the frequency of the slumps and the duration of them that separate the elite hitters from the mediocre ones.

Ackley’s numbers say his slumps are getting shorter and there is less time between them.  That’s exactly what you want to see from a developing hitter.

September is nearly here and the M’s are still playing very meaningful games so Ackley is going to play more often and than not.  If he can put up another month this September where he hits near .300 I think we’ll finally be able to say it.

The Real Dustin Ackley has finally arrived.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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