Dustin Ackley- he is not alone

Jun 26, 2012, 5:40 PM

By Gary Hill

Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley has been suffering though a rough June- .224BA 0HR 23K’s in 76Abs. His overall numbers have been pulled down to .244 BA/ .319 OBP/ .338 SLG and he is tied for the team lead in whiffs. Should Mariner fans be concerned about Dustin Ackley? During the next the two days the question will be explored.
To compare players past and present Wins Above Replacement (WAR) will be used from Baseballreference.com. WAR is a sabermetric statistic used to determine how many more wins a player is worth over a replacement level player at that position. For example, in 1995 Edgar Martinez put up a slash line of .356/.479/.628. He smacked a league leading 52 doubles and cracked 29 homers. He walked 116 times and fanned 87 times in 639 plate appearances. He boasted a 6.7 WAR. Former Mariner Danny Tartabull spent 1995 mostly at DH with New York and Oakland and hit .236/.335/.379. He launched 8 homers and drove in 35 while fanning 82 times in 328 AB’s. His WAR for 1995 was -0.7.

Last season Dustin Ackley put up the line .273/ .348/ .417 while hitting 6 homers, driving in 36 and walking 40 times in 376 Abs. He finished with a 3.4 WAR for the season. This season he is at .244/ .319/ .338 with 4HR 23RBI 31BB 66K’s. This year his WAR is at 1.6.

If you listen closely you will hear this exact conversation going on throughout the entire country. Fans from Seattle to Kansas City and Tampa Bay to Atlanta are all asking themselves a similar question. Should we be worried? The table below represents the players who received the most votes in the AL and NL Rookie of the Year voting from last season. In the left column you will see their WAR from last season and in the right column you will see their WAR from this year.

2011:2012

Hellickson, TB- 3.5 : 0.5
Trumbo, LAA- 2.5 : 2.2
Hosmer, KC- 1.3 : -0.9
Nova, NYY- 3 : 1.5
Pineda, NYY- 2.1 : 0
Ackley, SEA- 3.4 : 1.6
Jennings, TB- 2.3 : 1.2
Walden, LAA- 0.7 : 0.4
Kimbrel, ATL- 2.3 : 1.3
Freeman, ATL- 1.4 : 0.5
Worley, PHIL- 3.2 : 1.2
Collmenter, AZ- 1.8 : -0.2
Espinosa, WA- 1.8 : 0.1
Barney, CHC- 1.5 : 3.3
Jansen, LAD- 0.7 : 1

Of the Top 16 rookies from last season only two have a higher WAR this year than last year. Fireball Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is up 0.3 and former Oregon State standout Darwin Barney has improved by 1.8. The word “disappointment” has been assigned to many of the seasons attached to the standout rookies from last year. There is also another term that if often attached to situations such as these- “Sophomore Slump”. Tomorrow we will dive head-first into a historical quest to figure out if the “sophomore slump” is real and how Dustin Ackley fits into the equation.

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Dustin Ackley- he is not alone