SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- On Tuesday morning, David Dahl saw the lineup for Wednesday's game. On Tuesday night, the Rockies' outfielder went to sleep with visions of all sorts of possibilities running the bases in his head.Batting third for the Rockies in their 8-6 win over the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- On Tuesday morning, David Dahl saw the lineup for Wednesday's game. On Tuesday night, the Rockies' outfielder went to sleep with visions of all sorts of possibilities running the bases in his head.
Batting third for the Rockies in their 8-6 win over the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday: Carlos Gonzalez. Batting fourth: Nolan Arenado. And, for the first time this spring, batting fifth: David Dahl.
"It's the first time that's happened," said Dahl, a 21-year-old center fielder who's ranked the 46th-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com and No. 3 in the Rockies' organization. "Pretty exciting."
Dahl might have gone 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Wednesday, but the Rockies love Dahl's potential, and they've been understandably patient with him. He was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, signed for $2.6 million and promptly hit .379 in rookie ball. Since then, he's been plagued by injuries, including a few on the freakish side, like the ruptured spleen he suffered in a collision that robbed him of half of last season.
Dahl is healthy now and ready to show off a complete package of skills. Scouts have long been impressed with his smooth left-handed swing, his power potential and his ability to hit to all fields, as well as his speed on the basepaths. Dahl had 22 stolen bases in 73 games for Double-A New Britain last year.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he wanted a lefty to hit behind the right-handed-hitting Arenado on Wednesday, and he settled on Dahl without hesitation.
"It probably surprised him a bit when he looked at the lineup today, I would imagine," Weiss said. "But you know what? I think he'll do just fine. That's why I put him there. I like the kid as a hitter.
"There's a lot to like about the kid. ... He's been very impressive. Mature, composed, poised, all those words. All those things we look for in young players. He's shown them."
Dahl's teammates have been impressed, too.
"He's a really, really good player," Gonzalez said. "He's an outfielder like me, so I spend a lot of time with him on the field. He has great ability. He's a great athlete and he has a great swing. If he stays healthy, of course, and he grows as a player, I think he could be a potential All-Star."
Dahl said one thing that's been very welcoming in this, his first Major League camp, is that the Rockies' clubhouse has an inclusive vibe. He said he's never felt uncomfortable approaching veterans for advice, and that he was welcomed from Day 1.
"Everyone's really nice and everyone talks to me," Dahl said. "No one's hazed me or anything like that, told me to sit down and shut up. None of those things. I talk to Nolan, I talk to CarGo, I talk to everyone. I'm just trying to learn as much as possible from them."
On Wednesday morning, Dahl reiterated that he would not try to put too much pressure on himself despite the gaudy names in the lineup directly above his.
"I'm just going to have fun and play the game the right way," Dahl said. "I'm just going to do what I always do and go about my business the right way. Try to get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it, be on time and drive it.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.