Ackley and Montero’s Early Season Struggles; Were They Rushed?

The Seattle Mariners offense has not been nearly as good as advertised (shocker!) so far in 2013, and the young core of Smoak/Montero/Ackley have struggled mightly so far this season. It is probably time for the Justin Smoak experiment to end; but the other two-Montero and Ackely-well they have massively under-preformed expectations so far this season and it the entire Mariners fan base is wondering why…It has led me to think that they were rushed to the big leagues; and just by looking at their Minor League stats, my conclusion is that they weren’t rushed.

Now that I’ve put my conclusion at the entrance to the post, why should you continue to read it? Well, I’m going to go into their Minor League stats that prove my conclusion and take a look at their Major League stats…because the eye test doesn’t give me enough sadz all ready.

Dustin Ackley is not happy with his performance so far in his young career.

Since Ackley was/is Jack Z’s first major draft pick (2010)-and the so-called “most Major League ready hitter” coming out of college-we will take a look at him. He spent two years in the M’s farm system and during that time;

  • He rapidly moved from the Javelinas (2010, R) ->Jackson Generals (2010, AA)->Tacoma Rainiers (2011, AAA)->Seattle Mariners (2011, MLB).
  • During those two years in the minors he accumulated a triple slash line of .315/.432/.516 and an impressive wOBA+ of .419!
  • He walked a lot (17.1%) and didn’t strike out a lot (12.7%).

Basically, Brett Miller was right when he said that it didn’t look like Ackley had anything else to learn at the Minor League level. After all he showed a lot of patience at the plate and he seemed to have a little more power than was initially expected of him. By the time he was called up to Seattle on June 15th, 2011, it looked like he was ready to rock and roll.


Montero was a Yankees prospect that Jack Z traded Mariner pitching prospect/big leaguer Michael Pineda for. He spent six years stewing around the Yankees organization and during that time;

  • His path to the Majors was impeded by Jorge Posada and as a result he spent the entire 2010 (and most of 2011) with the Yankees AAA team; he was finally called up on September 1st, 2011. 
  • Throughout those six years he put together a .309/.369/.503 triple slash line and a wOBA+ of  .392.
  • His walk and strike out percentages don’t even really deserve to be discussed…

I’m guessing he saw a Twinkie when this picture was taken…

So basically, he was destroying in the minors and he needed to receive regular playing time; and who are we kidding one month of stats at the Major Leagues (September, 2011) are two small a sample size…as a Mariner however, we have a much larger sample size to examine.

These guys have mightily struggled in their time at the Majors; and it’s been regularly discussed pretty much everywhere on the Mariners’s blogosphere. So I’ll give you their combined stats at the Major League level (I included Montero’s September, 2011 just for sample sizes sake);

  •  .235/.288/.345, wOBA+ of .278, K% of 18%, BB% of 6.5%, and just for sadzies a combined BABIP of .278; and that’s all over a combined 1751 plate appearances. In other words a small sample size for two hitters. 

Some of those stats actually aren’t so bad…the BABIP, OBP, and wOBA+ are just bellow average and the K% isn’t nearly as high as I thought it would be. Other than that…yikes…they have to get better at some point, right?


Categories: MLB