In last night’s horrid 14-1 road loss to San Diego, Dahl was the only Colorado player to have more than one hit. And he didn’t just have two hits. He went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .333 on the season.
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Dahl is impressive on a number of levels, but is making a true impact at the plate for the Rockies. Since his first game on July 25, Dahl has belted six home runs, eight doubles and three triples. He’s done that while compiling the second-highest BABIP of any rookie batter with at least 30 plate appearances.
The 22-year-old outfielder has only five games in his Major League career where he hasn’t registered a hit in a game when he’s logged an at-bat. Yes, two of those have come in September and were part of a 2-for-13 skid he had to open the month. However, just when you think Dahl might be in a slump, he has a showing like he did Thursday night against the Padres.
And before anyone labels Dahl as just a product of Coors Field, note his splits. Of his six homers, three have come on the road. He’s also posted a higher batting average on the road (.338) than in Denver (.329).
He’s come a long way in a short amount of time. The 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft started the season in Double-A. He earned his promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque on July 4, then made it look like he had been there forever. By the time the Rockies called him up, Dahl was hitting .484 with 17 runs, six doubles, two triples and five homers, including a grand slam.
“He’s earned the right to play up here. He’s earned the promotion,” Nolan Arenado said before Dahl played in his first game. “He can help us right now, and the future is bright with all of our young guys.”
That future is bright with Dahl, not only at the plate but in the field as well. Even though he has a lot of experience in center field, he has looked like a natural in left field while in LoDo. When Charlie Blackmon was sidelined with a back injury recently, Dahl’s play in left convinced Weiss to leave him there and put fellow rookie Raimel Tapia in center.
There’s a lot to like about Dahl and Colorado’s youth movement overall. Already this season, Dahl, Trevor Story, Tapia, Tom Murphy and others are putting the rest of the National League on notice. The 2017 Rockies will be a force, thanks in part to the lessons they’ve learned this season.