The Seattle Mariners are working up an 'intriguing experiment' this winter - letting top draft pick Dustin Ackley work out as a second baseman.
A shortstop in high school, an outfielder/first baseman in college, Ackley has been taking ground balls at second base the past month in the Arizona Fall League.
"Our philosophy is to let players play multiple positions in the minor leagues," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "It just gives you options, and gives you more information to make a quality decision.
"The idea came from his college coach."
Ackley hasn't played second in a game, and won't as the AFL season ends Saturday. Zduriencik said Ackley will return to Arizona in January - a month before spring training - to get more work at the position.
"We don't know where this will take us, but it is philosophical," the GM said. "You don't want to ask a player to play a position for the first time in the major leagues. The minors is where you take a look."
In early workouts, Mariners coaches in Arizona say Ackley has taken naturally to a position currently held by Jose Lopez.
The move isn't a final decision on Ackley's future, but it's clear the team believes his path to the majors will be hastened the more positions he is able to play.