Sorry for the lateness of the blog post. I did post the news on Twitter from Droid, but I was at a driver's licensing place and we all know how that can be.
Anyway, the Mariners announced today that last year's first-round draft pick (No. 2) overall, Dustin Ackley, has been promoted to Triple A Tacoma along with RHP Anthony Varvaro and LHP Edward Paredes.
Ackley was hitting .263 (76-for-289) with 21 doubles, 4 triples, 2 home runs, 28 RBI and 42 runs scored in 82 games. He got off to an extremely slow start, but since May 12 he's batting .305 (57-for-187) to raise his average from .186 to .263.
"It's just the natural progression," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "You could keep in Double A, but in our talks with our minor league staff, our thought was that he was ready for this move. I think it's good for the second half to give him a little taste of Triple A."
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Ackley started off slow, but Zduriencik thought that start was just the adjustment of being a professional baesball player and the increased comfort level has been a reason why Ackley has played well of late.
"I think any time you have a guy in professional baseball for the first time there is some adjustment," Zduriencik said. "He didn't sign till August and then jumped right into instructional league, the fall league, he was back in January working out. It's been a whirlwind for him and he's adjusting to new bats and a new position."
Speaking of that new position, Ackley's conversion to second base will continue in Tacoma. While often in Triple A, players will play different positions, Ackley will be a constant at second base.
"Right now, we are just letting him play second base," Zduriencik said. "We always look at different things, different ideas, but for right now want to get him acclimated to playing second base."
Obviously, the new level will bring better pitching and more challenges. But Zduriencik believes that Ackley will be motivated by those challenges.
"I think he’s a real levelheaded kid with a lot of confidence," Zduriencik said. "I think he will embrace the opportunity to play a little higher up."
Varvaro is 25 and was 1-3 with 9 saves and a 3.20 ERA for West Tenn. He led the team in appearances with 31. In 39 1/3 innings, he has struck out 46 hitters and walked just 21. Opposing hitters are hitting just .194 off him and lefties are just .096 (5-for-52).
Varvaro was a 12th-round draft pick out of St. Johns in the 2005 draft. He's pitched in five minor league seasons in the organization, amassing a 12-28 record with 22 saves and a 5.10 ERA. He's also made 48 starts.
Paredes is just 23, but seems like he's been in the organization forever having pitched in six seasons. This season he is 2-1 with 3 saves and a 3.63 ERA in 26 relief appearances. He's struck out 35 batters in 34 2/3 innings pitched and walked 16.
International scouts Bob Engle and Patrick Guerrero signed Paredes on May 12, 2005 out of Villa Arriva in the Dominican Republic.