Each month at Prospect Insider we recognize a pair of Seattle Mariners — one pitcher and one batter — who have put up outstanding performances in the previous month. In July, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Kyle Seager took home the honors for Mariners of the month. Let’s take a look at if they were able to defend their titles in August.
Dustin Ackley, LF — 115 PA, .280/.325/.533, 142 wRC+, .252 ISO, 5 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 7 BB, 5 SB
It seems as though Ackley is finally becoming the player the M’s thought they were getting when they drafted him with the No. 2 pick in the 2009 amateur draft. After a red-hot July Ackley continued to hit the ball well in August — albeit he did trade some OBP for some power compared to July — and provided some timely hitting during the Mariners’ ten-game winning streak. The 26-year old put together eight multi-hit games in August and finished the month with a five-game hitting streak.
Over at Lookout Landing, Michael Barr has some insight into Ackley’s mechanical changes and the discernible difference between his first-half and second-half performances.
Robinson Cano, 2B — 110 PA, .205/.400/.516, 154 wRC+, .211 ISO, 5 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 12 BB, 2 SB
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP — 6 GS, 4-1, 37 2/3 IP, 2.39 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 2.92 xFIP, 33 K, 4 BB, 5 HR
During a month when staff ace Felix Hernandez struggled — and for the most part it’s been a rough streak for the entire rotation — the No. 2 starter, Iwakuma, stepped up and continued to fill some big innings. Removing a rough performance against the Boston Red Sox in which the right-hander allowed five earned runs in two and one-third innings of work, it’s been an impressive August for the native of Japan. Iwakuma went at least six innings in his other five starts and allowed more than one run in just one of those starts; the Washington Nationals tagged him for three runs on the weekend.
It was a homer-heavy month, including three solo shots given up to the Nationals, but his totals for the season still read 17 home runs and 13 walks in 155 and 1/3 innings of work. Iwakuma is the only qualified starting pitcher to allow more home runs than walks on the year and the 50 earned runs he’s given up are the ninth fewest.
Yoervis Medina, RP — 11 G, 0-0, 10 1/3 IP, 0.87 ERA, 1.19 FIP, 2.04 xFIP, 16 K, 3 BB