David Dahl

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David Martin Dahl

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Biographical Information[edit]

David Dahl was a top-10 pick in the 2012 amateur draft.

Dahl hit .316/.391/.386 for the junior Team USA in 2011. He led the team with 11 steals (in 12 tries) and was second with 17 runs as they won the junior Pan American Games. He hit .435 with 18 steals as a high school senior. He was timed at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash by the Colorado Rockies, who decided to take him 10th overall in the 2012 amateur draft. The scout was Damon Iannelli. Despite a commitment to Auburn University, he soon signed for a reported $2.6 million bonus and made his pro debut for the Grand Junction Rockies on June 21st.

His professional career got off to a great start as he hit .379/.423/.625 in 67 games for Grand Junction in 2012. He then missed most of 2013 with an injury, being limited to 10 games with the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League. He returned to Asheville in 2014 and hit .309 in 90 games, earning a late-season promotion to the Modesto Nuts of the California League. His combined batting line that year was .299/.335/.492 in 119 games. The Rockies moved him up to the New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League in 2015, but there he suffered another serious injury. He struggled in his first month with the team, then found his groove in May but on May 28th, he suffered a ruptured spleen in an outfield collision with a teammate. The spleen had to be removed, and he only came back in mid-July, after a rehabilitation stint with the Boise Hawks. He hit .278 in 73 games for New Britain.

Dahl started the 2016 season with the Hartford Yard Goats, the Rockies' new affiliate in the Eastern League. He hit .278 in 76 games and was selected to play in the 2016 Futures Game for the United States team. He also earned a promotion to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes on July 4th and went on a torrid streak, as he hit .484 with 6 doubles and 5 homers over his first 16 games. On July 25th, he was called up to make his major league debut, starting in left field against the Baltimore Orioles. He went 1 for 4, striking out in his first two at-bats against Yovani Gallardo before singling off him in the 7th and coming to score on a single by Mark Reynolds. Colorado lost the game, 3-2, however. He connected for his first homer on July 27th, a solo shot off Dylan Bundy in a 3-1 win over the Orioles. There was no adjustment period for him in the majors, as he got at least one hit in his first 12 games and was hitting a scorching .380 at that point. He did not stop there either, as on August 11th, he tied the modern major league mark set by Chuck Aleno of the 1941 Cincinnati Reds with a 1st-inning single against the Texas Rangers, giving him a hitting streak of 17 games from the start of his career. The streak ended the next day when he went 0 for 4 with a run scored in a 10-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Overall he played 63 games, hitting .315 with 7 homers and 24 RBIs.

He then missed the entire 2017 season after experience pain due to a fractured rib early in spring training. This prevented him from swinging the bat, and when he tried to come back in July, he was shut down because of back spasms. After extensive rest, tests in the fall showed that the injury had healed, giving him hope that he would be able to play a full season in 2018. Meanwhile, however, he had fallen on the depth chart as the Rockies had reached the postseason for the first time since 2009 in 2017, with a strong outfield manned by Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Gerardo Parra. With Ian Desmond and Raimel Tapia also on hand, it wasn't clear how the team's line-up would shake out. He started out getting limited playing time, with just 32 games played and 91 plate appearances in the first half, but that increased as the season moved along and the Rockies became involved in a tough race with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks for a division title. He was at his best when things came to a crunch, as he homered in five consecutive games starting on September 24th; all four games were wins, and allowed Colorado to take a one-game lead over L.A. in the standings and clinch a postseason slot form the second straight year, a first in franchise history. The two teams ended up tied for the division lead after 162 games, and Colorado lost the one-game playoff to determine the winner of the division title. He ended the year at .273, with 16 homers and 48 RBIs in 77 games, good for an OPS+ of 113, exactly the same as in his rookie year. He went 0-for-6 in Colorado's win over the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card Game, and 0 for 5 in two games when they were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in the Division Series, having apparently exhausted his magic during the regular season.

In 2019, he was named to the All-Star team for the first time after hitting .308 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 80 games. But the injury bug bit him again, and he played just 20 games in the second half, finishing at .302 with 15 homers and 61 RBIs. He split his playing time almost evenly between the three outfield positions that season. On July 24, 2020, Dahl collected the first two hits in the history of Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX during the Rockies' season opener against the Texas Rangers. He singled in the 2nd inning and doubled in the 5th, both times off Lance Lynn, but Colorado lost the game, 1-0. The plan was to have him play regularly in center field, with Ian Desmond, the previous season's centerfielder, sitting out the year because of the coronavirus pandemic. He ended up playing just 24 games, with a .183 average no homers and 9 RBIs as he made two trips to the injured list, one with lower back soreness and the second with a shoulder strain. He became a free agent after the season and on December 11th signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (2019)


Further Reading[edit]

  • Thomas Harding: "Prospect Dahl learned much in trying season: Rockies outfielder coped with slow start, spleen and knee injuries", mlb.com, January 5, 2016. [1]
  • Thomas Harding: "Outfielder Dahl (rib/back) cleared to swing bat: 23-year-old outfielder looking to make impact for Rockies in 2018", mlb.com, January 4, 2018. [2]

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