Jack Curry of YES Network reports that the Mariners have traded outfielder/second baseman Dustin Ackley to the Yankees in exchange for minor leaguers Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.
Ackley was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft behind Stephen Strasburg and reached the majors in 2011 with a lot of prospect hype, but he simply hasn’t hit. His career batting average is just .243 and mediocre power and plate discipline add up to a poor .672 OPS.
Ackley brings some defensive versatility to the table, but he hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2011 and as a left-handed hitter hasn’t even done especially well versus right-handed pitching. At age 27 the Yankees clearly think he has some untapped potential, possibly as an alternative to Stephen Drew at second base.
Neither minor leaguer headed to Seattle is considered a top prospect, but Flores is a 23-year-old corner outfielder hitting fairly well at Triple-A and Ramirez is a 25-year-old Triple-A right-hander with the potential to be a useful reliever.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.