Lessons from minor league promotions

Dustin Ackley still has issues as a prospect, but he's recovered from his brutal start. Getty Images

As we approach the final month of the minor league season, plenty of top prospects have moved up a level; sometimes this is in preparation for a September look -- although more often it's a precursor to a bigger role in 2011. For all of us who try to read minor league tea leaves, it's a source of information.

Here are 10 top names -- in alphabetical order -- who recently got promoted and what, if anything, we can learn from their promotions.

Dustin Ackley, 2B, Seattle Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)
No highly regarded prospect had a more brutal start to the season than Ackley, who began the year in an 11-for-79 (.137) slump at Double-A. He made up for it by batting .310 in his next 60 games before moving up to Tacoma, but there are still more questions than answers here. He can hit -- there's no doubt about that part -- but even scouts who saw last year's second-overall pick play in the Arizona Fall League last fall didn't get the power they were promised, and this year he's gone deep just three times in 327 at-bats. For now he's a high-average/high-on-base player who fits at the top of the lineup. He's good, but just not the run producer many expected, and he still might need another position switch as reports on his defense aren't exactly glowing.