In what amounted to a Sunday full of promotions, the Rockies called-up center-fielder David Dahl, who is set to be on the team’s roster for their series against the Orioles. It has been a harrowing journey through the minors for the 22-year-old, who missed most of 2013 with a torn hamstring, and missed time last season following a violent collision (and subsequent splenectomy). Dahl’s tools have kept him on every top-hundred list despite these injuries and missed time, though, and Major League fans will learn why in short order. Here is what we had to say about him in our Rockies top-ten prospects list:
David Dahl had a pretty good year, considering he no longer has a spleen anymore, due to a horrific collision in the field with a teammate in June. He had other aches and pains too, but ended up finishing his age 21 season in double-A New Britain with a .273/.304/.417 line. The thing is, Dahl can really hit. He sprays liners all over the field and it is a reasonable expectation that some of his copious amount of doubles will turn into homers, especially at Coors Field. His strikeouts climbed alarmingly, but that hasn't been much of a problem before, and most of those strikeouts happened at the beginning of the year, ...and he was getting over not having a spleen so give the poor guy a break.
It is commendable that Dahl did not punt the entire year due to his injury, but instead worked hard and came back, and produced. It shows excellent character and resiliency. Hopefully better fortune will shine upon Dahl in 2016 and he can truly show off his many talents in the high minors this year.
The left-handed hitter opened 2016 back at Double-A Hartford, where he essentially improved across the board. He batted .278/.367/.500 (141 wRC+) with 13 HR and 16 SB in 332 PA at the level, with a career-best 11.7% BB% (his previous best was 6.9% back in 2012). Dahl earned a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque on the 4th of July, and he has put up video game numbers in three weeks at the level - .484/.529/.887, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB in just 68 PA. Saying that he was forcing the issue would be putting it lightly.
And the Rockies have plenty of room for Dahl, to boot. The team has received next to nothing from its left-fielders, who are batting .241/.271/.388 (22% below-average by sOPS+), and it seems likely that one of Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon will be on the move come July 31. Based on this, Dahl should be in Colorado to stay, barring an injury (knock on wood, please) or truly terrible performance.
As is the case with most competent hitters that play at Coors Field, Dahl is a player that should pique your interest as a fantasy owner. His power/speed combination can play anywhere, as he has the raw power to hit 20-plus home runs and the speed and smarts to swipe 20-plus bases. Put him in that park, and he could may well mash 30-plus bombs over a full season. And for the remainder of 2016, he should help your team across the board.