Dustin Ackley has been helping the Seattle Mariners offense quite a bit in July. Ackley has quietly been one of the best hitters for the Mariners, even has trade rumors swirl about his future with the franchise. Against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday (July 20), the outfielder went 1-for-3 with an RBI to his credit. He was an important reason that the team was able to try to compete for a series win against one of the other likely playoff teams.
Ackley almost had another hit up the middle in the ninth inning, but it was slowed down enough by the pitcher for the shortstop to get to it. He finished the series with five hits, showing that he has become a very important part of the offense lately. Though his numbers for the season haven't quite reached what some fans were hoping for 2014, he has still be providing valuable contributions.
During the month of July, Ackley has gone 15-for-46 at the plate for a .326 batting average. He has also been pretty good on defense in the month, running down a few balls and not making any errors. That includes playing left field for 15 2/3 innings in one game against the Angels and registering seven putouts in another game against the Oakland Athletics.
When comparing Dustin Ackley to the rest of the offense in the month of July, he is third in batting average behind Robinson Cano and Michael Saunders. Cano is ranked second in the American League and Saunders is on the disabled list with another injury. The argument could be made that this is a small sample size, but a counterargument could be made that Ackley has turned a corner at the plate.
A big question hangs in the air about his future on the team, especially as many rumors pop up about the team looking to acquire a new left fielder. If the former first-round pick has figured things out at the plate, though, he could certainly remain a valuable asset off the bench if he isn't part of a deal.