I don’t know who Ramon Flores is, nor do I know who Jose Ramirez is. I just know they’re not Dustin Ackley, and therefore I like them already.
As I’ve belabored endlessly, Dustin Ackley has been the most disappointing draft pick in Seattle sports history. It’s not even really all that close. We used a #2 overall draft pick to select the first hitter of the 2009 draft and ended up with a useless nothing. He was supposed to be a guy with a good amount of athleticism – to the point where we pretty much just needed to find a place for him to field and let him go to work – who could hit in his sleep. He was never going to be a masher, but he was supposed to be a line drive machine who’d hit for a high average, get on base with regularity, and hit enough doubles and triples to make up for a lack of homers. Still, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect somewhere in the realm of 10 homers per year, maybe 30 doubles, a handful of triples, and a .300+ batting average with an on-base percentage approaching .375 or .400.
What we got was a guy who was called up mid-season in 2011 – during yet another losing campaign in an endless string of playoff-less years – who showed some promise, but eventually turned into yet another shining reminder of this organization’s proclivity to be snakebitten in the drafting and player-development realm of professional baseball.
In his two full seasons with the Mariners (2012 & 2014; he was shuttled between Seattle & Tacoma for much of 2013; and 2011 & 2015 were both half-seasons), he was essentially this guy:
- .235 batting average, .294 on-base percentage, 13 homers, 24 doubles
He’s always been sort of a second-half dandy (punctuated by his call-up year of 2011, and his heroic second half in 2014 when he pretty much staved off execution for another half year), but this first half was such a disaster that we couldn’t hold out hope anymore for a possible turnaround. .215/.270/.366, while slowly seeing his starts get taken away from the likes of Trumbo and Guti. He has two more years of arbitration, and quite frankly you’d be hard-pressed to see why the Mariners should keep giving him chances. He’s already making $2.6 million now and he’s not even worth a fraction of that! To give him a raise for all the nothing he’s produced in his career would be a crime against humanity.
So, now he’s the Yankees’ problem. Whatever. With that ballpark, he’ll probably be a productive hitter and somewhat turn his career around. From a Mariners perspective, he’s the second disappointing tentpole to be playing elsewhere, with Smoak’s signing in Toronto last offseason. Now, all that’s left of the Jackie Z era’s three major disappointments is Jesus Montero, who – SURPRISE – is the guy coming up to take Ackley’s roster spot!
I don’t care about who we got in return. Apparently, it’s an outfielder and a reliever. Both will be starting their careers in this organization in Tacoma. Maybe one day one or both will be called up and we’ll all be reminded that – OH YEAH – those were the guys we got for Ackley. Until then, I’m going to try to not waste the braincells.