Ahhhhh, I am sun-soaked from the last couple of days of camping and having fun with the family. What could be better than low 70′s Pacific Northwest sunshine? I’ll tell you what.
Dustin Ackley winning today’s Rookie of the Day award!
The M’s prized 2B prospect brings home honors due to his 3-5 day at the plate, falling just a homer away from the cycle and scoring the winning run in the top of the 9th inning on a poorly executed intentional base on balls that resulted in a wild pitch. Today marked the first multi-hit game for Ackley since his promotion, raising his small sample size average to a nifty .300.
I’ve written a lot about Ackley lately, so I will not bore you with more superlatives expounding upon his offensive prowess. What I will tell you, however, is that something special is starting to happen up here in Marinerland once again. People are getting excited about this team, not because they sit at .500, rather, fans are starting to see the development of a young and promising nucleus of players that are improving right before their eyes.
Ackley, Michael Pineda, Justin Smoak, Carlos Peguero, Greg Halman, Mike Carp, just to name a few. There are still quite a few deficiencies to work out, especially on the offensive side of things, but the picture going forward is refreshingly positive and envigorating. After suffering through two 100+ loss seasons in the past three years, this is a sight for sore eyes.
Ackley has been placed as a centerpiece for this baseball rennaissance in Seattle and, for his part, he’s done everything thusfar to indicate that he can handle the task. He’s made pivotal plays with his bat and glove in crucial game situations that dispell the reality that he’s a 23 year old rookie with less than a dozen games under his belt.
I think the success he’s having now will continue through the rest of this season and, barring injuries, the rest of his career. Marketwise, his stuff fares well, but I don’t think it’s reached an apex. Autos in the 2009 Donruss Elite Extra set are selling for $32-35 each, as are his 2010 Bowman Chrome autos. Single cards in the various 2010 and 2011 Bowman products can be had for $1.00-1.50 and refractors are not overwhelmingly expensive.
Maybe my Mariner homerism has rosily tinted my view of Ackley, but I get the feeling that he is truly being groomed by the organization to be a Griffey or Ichiro-like monolith in the years going forward. From what I’ve seen so far, I think he’s capable of being that figure.