Colorado Rockies: 40-Man Roster Countdown: 10-6
David Dahl: Outfielder Points: 53 Highest Rank: 5 Lowest Rank: 16
The biggest story about a Rockies rookie last season was Trevor Story’s assault on the record books (more on that later). And while that deserved plenty of attention, it caused some fans to overlook the start of a career for a player that is essentially a younger, slightly more athletic version of Carlos Gonzalez.
This emergence didn’t come out of nowhere. Dahl was the 10th overall pick of the 2012 MLB draft, and since that time he’s been considered one of game’s most talented young outfielders. Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had Dahl among the top 25 prospects in all of baseball prior to the 2015 season.
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Dahl mashed his way through the minor leagues and made his MLB debut in late July. Dahl was unfazed, as he racked up a stellar .315/.359/.500 line in 222 at-bats. Dahl also showed off his power potential more frequently, bashing a career-best 25 home runs across three levels in 2016. If all Dahl did was hit, he’d still be an intriguing young player.
But what makes Dahl really special is that he offers premium offensive talent while also providing excellent defense in the outfield. Dahl mostly played left field with the Rockies last season, but many believe he may already be a better defender in center than Charlie Blackmon. Dahl has solidly above-average wheels, gets great jumps on the ball, and even possesses a strong, accurate throwing arm.
Every player has things he can work on though, and Dahl is no exception. Like most supremely talented young hitters, Dahl looks to swing early and often in his at-bats. There are notable exceptions to this rule, but if Dahl wants to keep his average in the big leagues above .300, he’ll likely need to improve his plate discipline.
That being said, Dahl looked more patient than ever at the plate last season. Besides, he still hasn’t even turned 23, so it’s reasonable that as he matures, so will his game. If Dahl is the worst player in the Rockies starting outfield (and our rankings say that he is), that’s a terrifying prospect for the rest of the league when they face Colorado.