Dustin Ackley says he’d like to hit second

May 26, 2011, 2:41 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm

ackley
Dustin Ackley

710Sports.com staff

Note: Click here to listen to audio of Dustin Ackley’s interview on Bob & Groz.

Mariners prospect Dustin Ackley joined Bob & Groz on Thursday for a discussion on the speculation of his impending call-up, where he’d be most comfortable hitting in the Mariners’ lineup, how he feels about his transition to second base, and more.

Ackley is hitting .326 (31 for 95) with five home runs and an OPS of 1.004 in May for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, adding to the speculation of when the Mariners might promote their top prospect.

Ackley said he’s not paying much attention to the talk.

“I hear things occasionally. I try not to take anything seriously,” Ackley said. “I’m just down here right now trying to continue to improve. I know there’s a lot of people talking, a lot of things going on, but the more I listen to that and the more I think about that the less I’m going to be focused on what I’m doing right now and I think that’s going to take away from me. I’m just going to try to continue what I’m doing here, and whenever that time comes I’ll be ready.”

When asked where in the lineup he’d be prefer to hit, Ackley said second, a spot he’s occupied in college and high school and recently for the Rainiers.

“I think the most comfortable spot I was at all year was when Guti (Franklin Gutierrez) was here and he was batting leadoff and I was hitting second,” Ackley said. “That was really the only opportunity I had to hit second this year. I think that’s probably the spot that I like the best or feel most comfortable in, as far as bunting and getting guys over and things like that.”

Ackley feels “more and more comfortable” with the adjustment to second base, a position he switched to after playing center field and first base in college. He said the most difficult aspect of second base is turning the double play, especially those started at third base.

“You don’t really get those a whole lot. And then you get thrown out there in a game and you’ve got to do it live and from a guy that’s probably got a pretty good arm over there,” Ackley said. “So I think everything comes into play; you need the footwork, your hands need to be in the right spot, you need to know when the runner’s coming at you and all that kind of stuff.”

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Dustin Ackley says he’d like to hit second