Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 3/6/13
What happens when you trade a big chip for a can't miss prospect, a can't miss prospect for another can't miss prospect, and draft a guy first round and put all these hot prospects all in one lineup? Well, if you are the Seattle Mariners and their fans, you watched all three collectively flop in 2012. We, of course, are talking about Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Jesús Montero.  None of the three topped the .300 mark in on-base percentage. And Smoak and Montéro finished below ground in the fWAR department. Can the trio reverse their fortunes in 2013? Spring Training is such an illusion. The games don't count. Pitchers of every stripe are thrown out there to either get experience or just work on some pitches. Plus, a large number of teams, including the Mariners, now train in Arizona where the ball just sails through the hot, dry air making the offensive numbers dubious at best. All those disclaimers aside, it is very encouraging to see what Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Jesús Montéro are doing this spring. Smoak and Montéro are both batting .500 with half of their hits being of the extra base variety. Ackley is batting .400. Certainly, spring training is no predictor about regular season success. But success sometimes builds on itself and there is something to the group dynamic where success is contagious. Maybe we have something here. Consider also that Safeco Field is going to have new dimensions this year that could favor Smoak and Montero specifically and Ackley occasionally. Montéro hit .295 on the road last season and .227. Smoak hit 197 at home in 2012 and .235 on the road. Ackley had ten homers on the road and only two at home. Safeco definitely got into these players' heads. The differences in the dimensions are not drastically different. But they will be different enough to change the mindset. Another thing to look at is BABIP. Dustin Ackley had a BABIP of .265 in 2012. Justin Smoak's BABIP was an insanely low .242. Even Montéro's .292 was a bit on the low side. Perhaps some of that is bad contact. But perhaps some of that is bad luck and bad approaches too. If all three just have league average BABIPs, there is will be vast improvement. Dustin Ackley is a former first round draft pick. In his minor league career, he showed a far higher walk percentage and lower strikeout percentage than last year's numbers. He has good plate discipline and only swung at 24% of pitches outside the strike zone last season. His walk totals will improve and the strikeouts will come down. Knowing where he was drafted, Ackley will have every chance to turn things around. Montéro was the big chip in the trade with the Yankees that cost them one of their best young arms. He will get every opportunity to turn things around too. With John Jaso gone, Montéro is being depended on to catch, which is still quite the dicey proposition. But the gut here says that he is going to explode offensively a year removed from the shock of switching coastlines and leaving the only organization he had known. Justin Smoak is probably on his last "Get Out of Jail Free" card and will need to either start showing what he can do or fade away into the sunset. He is only 25 and can still turn it around. If this spring is any indication, he looks like he's figured some things out. Time will tell on these three. But, without being overly analytic here, all three could jell this season and make this a much more fun season for the long-suffering Mariner fans.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker