David Dahl ranks among the top high school outfielders for the 2012 draft class. He's right behind Byron Buxton and Albert Almora as top high school out fielders for the 2012 MLB draft.
At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Dahl has drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon because of his combination of speed, ability to hit for average, and power to the gaps. Dahl has a balanced compact swing from the left side that has a small stride to the plate. Dahl has good plate discipline and is able to track pitches that show above average pitch recognition which should help him transition to professional baseball. He has above average speed and has been clocked at 6.8-6.9 in the 60 yard dash and 4.1 to 1st base.
David Dahl should be a popular pick on draft day because he is a great combination of offense and defense that has yet to hit his potential.
He will need to develop a feel for CF and work on his routes to balls in the gaps if he is to stay in CF. If he is unable to stick in CF, he is likely to move to RF due to his above average arm and defensive abilities.
Dahl's ceiling is higher for him in CF rather than in LF or RF. If he is able to develop a feel for CF and is able to hit for AVG, hit for power to the gaps, and become a threat on the base paths his ceiling will be very high. Defensively Dahl should be an above average defender in RF due to his above average arm that has touched 95 mph on multiple occasions on the mound. Brett Gardner would be a comparable for David Dahl's ceiling potential.
Where is he projected to go right now?
David Dahl is likely to go in the later part of the first round between picks 20 and 31 and is unlikely to fall to the Astros at pick #41.t.
What Scouts say about him...
In terms of tools, Dahl rivals South Florida prep Albert Almora in many ways, though Almora's intangibles give him an edge over Dahl, an Auburn signee. A lefthanded hitter, Dahl fits the center-field profile with plus speed, an athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound body and a cannon arm that earns above-average grades. His overall package elicits comparisons to Jeremy Hermida (as an amateur) and Andy Van Slyke. Dahl shined during the East Coast Pro Showcase, where his balanced, smooth swing and above-average bat speed helped him handle quality pitching, and teamed with Mississippi prep outfielder D.J. Davis on a travel team that played fall games against junior-college competition, at times dominating older pitching. He showed opposite-field power throughout the showcase circuit, though some scouts question how much usable, game power he has and would have doubts if he moved to a corner. They also aren't all sold on his instincts to be a center fielder, though most believe he'll stick in the position. Dahl's biggest weakness is his low-energy demeanor. Some scouts consider him simply unmotivated by middling high school competition, while others see a low motor and question his desire to be great. The tools are all there for a first-round power/speed center fielder.
Strong summer performances helped Dahl show he was over his bout with mono and move up Draft lists everywhere.
Dahl gets some comparisons to Johnny Damon, both in terms of body type and somewhat how he plays the game. He doesn't have the power Damon has shown - Dahl's more of an alley guy - but he's got a good approach at the plate, makes consistent contact and uses his speed well on both sides of the ball. He should hit for plenty of average and be a base-stealing threat. He's above average defensively in terms of range and arm, and his baseball IQ helps all of his tools play up.
Dahl can get a little lengthy with his swing, some added strength would help his power profile a bit and he's still learning how to read fly balls off the bat. Even with that, his tools will have many going to Alabama in the spring.