The Colorado Rockies made David Dahl their top draft pick in the 2012 draft, so it’s only natural they want to see him in as many different situations as possible, as quickly as possible.
And that has to be part of the impetus behind moving Dahl from a steaming-hot Asheville team to the struggling Modesto Nuts for the final 38 games of the California League season.
Dahl, a 20-year-old centerfielder, is making his Modesto debut tonight, batting leadoff for a Nuts team that is 31-71. He was hitting .305 with 10 homers and 33 doubles for the Tourists, who took a 12-game win streak into Thursday night are are 65-38 overall.
“It’s always good to get called up, but at the same time it’s always tough to leave a group of guys, a team where I have a lot of best friends, and a team that is on a roll,” said Dahl, a soft-spoken Alabaman. “But now I’m here and I just want to help this team win.”
Dahl was the 10th overall pick in 2012 out of Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham and was ranked the Rockies’ No. 1 prospect by MLB.com enterting the 2013 season. But last summer loss for Dahl, who was suspended by the Rockies for missing a flight, then missed all but 10 games of the season with a hamstring injury.
He bounced back this year with Asheville and was named to the mid-season South Atlantic League all-star team.
Dahl saw and took batting practice in spacious John Thurman Field for the first time on Thursday, and said it was pretty much everything he’s been told.
“It’s a really big field, but that’s OK because I don’t consider myself a power hitter,” he said. “So in BP I was just trying to hit line drives and hit balls hard instead of trying to lift the ball. It will be different playing in center because Asheville is a smaller field and there’s not nearly as much ground to cover.”
The Tourists are 27-6 in the second half and barring a collapse should be a shoo-in for the SAL playoffs. Should that happen, the stay in Modesto of the Nuts’ new player could be cut a few games short.
“I think I could be going back to Asheville for the playoff,” Dahl said. “But I’m not certain that will happen.”
Lyles set for Modesto rehab
Colorado Rockies’ righty Jordan Lyles will be coming to Modesto for a rehabilitation assignment on Saturday. Lyles, a 23-year-old starter, broke a bone in his glove hand while covering home plate in a game against Arizona on June 4.
At the time of his injury he was one of the Rockies’ hottest starters, going 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA. He will start Saturday’s game against Inland Empire and we’ll know more about his pitch limit at that time.