Though he only just turned 25, Rockies fans have been hearing his name for several seasons. The once-top-prospect had high expectations as he rose through the Rockies’ system, with many believing he could become an All-Star outfielder at the Major League level.
After a strong 2014 with Modesto, the quickly-rising Dahl had his 2015 season derailed by a ruptured spleen. Despite the setback, he made spring training the next season and made his MLB debut a few months later on July 25 at only 22 years old. Instantly, Dahl stunned the baseball world by hitting safely in the first 17 games of his career, tying the MLB record.
Dahl would go on to hit .315 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 63 games that season and was in line to compete for an everyday role in 2017 before a stress reaction in his rib suffered in spring training cost him the entirety of the 2017 season.
The next season (2018) was meant to be his chance to bounce back but once again a freak accident resulted in a broken foot on a foul ball, sidelining him until August. Despite struggling to put together consistent playing time for multiple seasons due to injury, Dahl returned in 2018 and willed the Rockies into the playoffs with a torrid September, hitting nine home runs and recording 27 RBI.
Dahl was the National League’s final Player of the Week in 2018, taking home the honors by hitting six home runs in the last seven games of September, giving him a career-high 16 homers in just 77 games.
Inexplicably, Dahl started only one game of the NLDS sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers and pinch hit once, recording only five plate appearances in the series. This was a strange decision considering Dahl was the Rockies’ hottest hitter going into the playoffs. Especially since struggling outfielder Carlos Gonzalez started every game and finished the series with 12 plate appearances despite hitting .200 since September 1.
But all of that is in the past — Dahl has made sure of that. In 2019, he has already tied his career-high in games played and surpassed his career mark with 51 RBI. Finally getting the chance to play his first full season in the big leagues, he will also take part in his first Midsummer Classic.
While every All-Star Game selection is special, I think David Dahl might smile a little broader than most this July 9 — and who can blame him? After battling a bout of terrible luck, David Dahl is officially an All-Star.