Each Monday, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus focuses on 10 key players in the minor leagues. This week, prospects for the Mariners, Royals and Mets made significant strides toward making their big league debuts.
Dustin Ackley, 2B, Seattle Mariners (Double-A West Tenn.)
Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years. The second overall pick in last year's draft had the most puzzling April in the minor leagues, batting just .147 and leaving scouts completely baffled as to what went wrong. He was making up for it as best he could with loads of walks, but .147 isn't a slump -- .147 is something wrong. While we may never figure out exactly what was hindering Ackley early on, whatever was wrong is no more, as he's turned into an extreme on-base machine. The walks are still there, including 16 in his last 12 games, but the hits are coming, too, as in the same stretch he's gone 15-for-33 (.455). Now batting .251 AVG/.408 OBP/.359 SLG with everything pointed in the right direction, Ackley's only cause for concern is the same debate that revolved around him going into the year. Some think he'll hit for power, some don't, and with one home run in 167 at-bats, so far the doubters are right.