The Mariners have released infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley from his minor league contract, per a club announcement. Ackley, who returned to the Mariners on a minor league deal back in January, had been in camp and appeared in 11 games with Seattle this spring, though he’d only tallied a total of 18 plate appearances. In that time, Ackley collected a trio of singles and drew six walks against three strikeouts.
Formerly the No. 2 overall draft pick (Mariners, 2009) and one of the game’s top all-around prospects, the now-31-year-old Ackley hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since a brief, 28-game stint with the Yankees in 2016. It’s been quite a bit longer than that since he enjoyed productivity at the MLB level, however.
Ackley quickly ascended to the Majors, debuting barely two years after being drafted out of UNC, and he made an immediate impression in Seattle when he hit .273/.348/.417 with six homers, 16 doubles, seven triples and six steals through his first 90 games (376 plate appearances) back in 2011. Ackley was widely considered an advanced bat and a slam-dunk big leaguer, but his offense unexpectedly cratered and never recovered following that solid rookie campaign. In 1971 MLB plate appearances since his debut season, Ackley has managed just a .235/.296/.358 slash. If he’s to ultimately work his way back to the big leagues, he’ll assuredly require a stop in Triple-A, where he hit .286/.378/.398 in 284 PAs for the Angels’ affiliate in 2018.