The first pick is. . .Dustin Ackley

The Mariners went back to college today, selecting Dustin Ackley from the University of North Carolina as the first of their two first-round picks in the First-Year-Player Draft.

It was not a surprise.

Based on pre-Draft speculation, Ackley figured to be the second player selected.

And sure enough, several minutes after the Nationals chose right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg out of San Diego State as No. 1 overall, the Mariners went on the offense and chose the best hitter available.

Ackley, a first baseman this season, led the Tar Heels to their fourth straight College World Series, batting .412 with 22 home runs and 70 RBIs. He holds school records for most hits (338), most runs scored (225) and total bases (535). He also has hit 39 home runs during his college career.

— Jim Street

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