Dustin Michael Ackley
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 184 lb.
- School University of North Carolina
- High Schools North Forsyth High School, South Stokes High School
- Debut June 17, 2011
Ackley was named All-American by Louisville Slugger as a high school senior.
Dustin emerged as a superstar as a college freshman, hitting .402/.448/.591 and batting .442 entering the ACC title game before a late-season slump. He set the UNC record in hits (119), leading all of NCAA Division I in the process. He tied Yonder Alonso and Brandon Waring for 8th in NCAA Division I with 74 RBI, tying Alonso for the Atlantic Coast Conference lead. He was second in the ACC in average behind Tony Thomas. He hit homers in both semifinal wins of the 2007 College World Series against Rice University. Overall, he had 3 homers and 8 RBI in the Series, in which UNC finished second. He was named to the All-Tournament Team at first base. He was named the ACC Freshman of the Year, was chosen to the All-ACC team at first base, was picked as Baseball America Freshman of the Year and was named a third-team All-American by Baseball America, the American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball. Brett Wallace and Alonso were the more-honored first basemen.
As a sophomore, Ackley batted .417/.503/.597 and set a UNC record with 82 runs. He was named third-team All-American at first base by Baseball America (behind Justin Smoak and David Cooper) and Collegiate Baseball. He was second-team All-ACC behind Smoak. He became the first UNC player to top .400 twice and was second in the ACC in average (behind Buster Posey) and hits (116, 3 behind Posey). He hit .522 in the 2008 College World Series and was again chosen for the All-Tournament team.
In 2009, the junior was hitting .412 with 22 homers entering the 2009 College World Series, leading the ACC in average, homers and slugging and setting a UNC record in total bases. He was picked as a consensus All-American and was UNC's all-time leader in average, hits, runs and total bases. The Seattle Mariners picked him second overall in the 2009 amateur draft, following Stephen Strasburg; he was the first UNC player to go that high since Paul Shuey in the 1992 amateur draft. Ackley was 8 for 16 in the 2009 College World Series; his 28 career hits in College World Series play broke Sam Fuld's record. He made the All-Tournament team was once again.
Ackley was signed by scout Rob Mummau and made his Organized Baseball debut on April 8 with the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, going 0 for 4 with a walk and a steal. He had a tough first month, batting .147, before settling down and hitting .304 the rest of the season in AA. He was then promoted to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, where he hit .274/.338/.439 in 52 games. Overall, he hit .267/.368/.407 with seven home runs, 51 RBI and 10 stolen bases in his rookie professional season. He picked it up a notch in the Arizona Fall League after the season, where he earned the circuit's MVP honors by hitting .424/.581/.758 and scoring 28 runs.
Ackley was named the #12 prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 2011 season. After starting the year with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, where he hit .303/.421/.487 in 66 games, with 17 doubles and 9 homers. He was called up to Seattle on June 17th, making his debut against the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit a single off Roy Oswalt in his first major league at-bat, then the next day, blasted his first major league homer against Vance Worley, going 1 for 4 in both games. He played 90 games for the Mariners, hitting .273 with 16 doubles, 7 triples and 6 homers in a very promising major league rookie season.
Ackley hit the first home run and collected the first RBI of the 2012 season, connecting off the Oakland Athletics' Brandon McCarthy for a solo shot in the 4th inning of the opener at the Tokyo Dome on March 28th. In the 11th inning, he drove in Brendan Ryan with a single for what proved to be the winning run, then stole second and came in to score an insurance run on Ichiro Suzuki's single as the Mariners opened the season with a 3-1 win. He was the Mariners' starting second abseman all season, playing 153 games and getting 607 at-bats, but he hit only .226, with 12 homers, in what was a disappointing first full season overall. he improved a bit in [2013 Mariners|2013]], as his average rose to .253 in 113 games, but he still hit only 4 homers and drove in 31 runs. he began to move around the field that year, playing 53 games at 2B, but also 50 in center field, 11 in left field and 6 at first base. In 2014, he was the team,s starting left fielder, getting into 143 games during which he hit .245 with 27 doubles, 14 homers and 65 RBIs. His production was good for an OPS+ of 99 in his best showing since his rookie year, but it still fell short of expectations.
Dustin lost his starting job in 2015, moving between left and center field and getting only 186 at-bats in 85 games before he was traded on July 30th. he was hitting only .215 with 6 homers and 19 RBIs when he was sent to the New York Yankees in return for P José Ramírez and OF Ramón Flores. He played 23 games for the Yankees, but had only 52 at-bats, hitting a solid .288 with 4 homers and 11 at-bats. He returned to the Yankees in 2016 but played only 28 games in an injury-plagued season. His batting average was only .148 and on November 18th, he was released.