Minor League Prospect Report: David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies
Selected 10th overall in the 2012 draft, Colorado Rockies outfield prospect David Dahl had a strong pro debut in the Pioneer League.
Playing for Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Dahl was considered to be one of the best prep bats available in the draft, showing power, speed, and an impressive throwing arm. His approach at the plate and plate discipline were also considered positives.
Dahl was sent to Grand Junction in the Pioneer League for his pro debut. He thrived against the best competition of his life, hitting .379/.423/.625 with 22 doubles, 10 triples, nine homers, and 12 steals in 19 attempts. He drew 21 walks against 42 strikeouts in 280 at-bats. He led the Pioneer League in hitting (41 points over his nearest competitor), led in slugging, and ranked sixth in on-base percentage.
His walk rate was lower than I'd like to see, but he kept the strikeouts under control, so at this point I'm not worried about his discipline. Scouting reports about his approach remain positive. He hit at home, hit on the road, and didn't have an excessive platoon split.
Dahl has above-average speed and a very good arm, but his defense in center field is raw and he needs to run better routes. He also needs to refine his stealing technique to get the most out of his legs on the bases. Those kinds of things will improve with experience, and at age 18 (he doesn't turn 19 until April) he has plenty of time on the clock.
Overall, it was a successful debut. Dahl draws comparisons to players like Andy Van Slyke, Jim Edmonds, and the good version of Grady Sizemore. Expect Dahl to begin 2013 in Low-A. I wouldn't expect him in the majors until 2015 at the earliest, but his combination of tools and skills should give Rockies fans hope.