It’s less than a week to go until Baseball Christmas people, and we continue our look into what Sandy Claus may have under the tree for us on Monday night. Interestingly enough, on a recent podcast for St. Lucie to Flushing, Baseball America editor Jim Callis stated vis a vis the Mets position at #12 “often the draft will come to you at 12”, meaning that rather than target one guy and hope they get him, they will likely name the top five or ten guys they want at that slot (and there will be plenty) and take the top one who is falls to them. Today’s profile: the curious case of David Dahl, an outfielder from Oak Mountain HS in Birmingham, AL.
Dahl is a left-handed hitting outfielder who has the range and cannon of an arm man center field. His swing is labeled as “smooth” and “balanced”, and he possesses the ability to put a charge in the ball, even to the opposite field. His speed is also considered an above average tool. In some showcase games against junior college teams, he dominated older players.
The biggest concern I’ve heard on Dahl is his demeanor. Not that he is surly or uncoachable, but he is so low key that it’s hard to tell if he is sometimes unmotivated by the competition, or he simply lacks the desire to be a great player. There are also a few scouts here and there who acknowledge he has the tools for center, but wonder if the instincts are there. Others think his power, the last tool to develop for any young hitter in the pros, will show up at higher levels.
Dahl fits the profile of center fielder with power and speed, with some liking him to former Pirate Andy Van Slyke. Personally, the low key talented Southerner personality evokes memories of Kevin McReynolds – who did put together some MVP caliber seasons for the Mets, but some NYC fans (including my brother, before the Yankees got good in the 90’s and he jumped ship) could not stand the demeanor, and McReynolds seemed to feel the same way (toward NYC, not my brother). Based on talent, he seems like a solid selection for any team, including the Mets. If there is some fire to the personality smoke – and I should stress I’ve never met him, nor do I know how well the scouts who have speculated about his personality do, thus this all may be an unfair rumor at the end of the day – it could move a team to move to the next player on the board.