DENVER -- Outfielder David Dahl, the Rockies' top pick in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, left his first experience in pro ball with a case full of awards, and he heads into 2013 carrying greater expectations.
Dahl was named Pioneer League Most Valuable Player and Baseball America Rookie Level Player of the Year for the entire Minors by hitting .379 with nine home runs, 22 doubles and 10 triples for the Grand Junction club. The performance helped Dahl earn the No. 58 spot -- the highest of three ranked Rockies players -- on the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who will be in big league camp for a second year and could begin the season in Triple-A, checked in at No. 62, and shortstop Trevor Story, the Rockies' supplemental first-round pick in 2011, was ranked 99th.
The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLB.com's Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, who compiles input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, closeness to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLB.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with Major League rookie status in 2013.
The Rockies' selection of Dahl with the 10th overall pick was big news. It was the highest an Alabama high school player had been drafted since 1971, when the Montreal Expos took eventual University of Tennessee and Canadian Football League star quarterback Condredge Holloway fourth overall.
The Rockies, who convinced Dahl to sign a $2.6 million bonus rather than go through with plans to attend Auburn, were not disappointed. Dahl, who turns 19 on April 1, put together a 27-game hit streak from July 17 to Aug. 15, led the Pioneer League with 106 hits and compiled a batting average that was a whopping 41 points higher than that of the second-leading Pioneer League hitter, Orem's Wade Hinkle.
Arenado, who turns 22 on April 16, entered last season ranked No. 22 before a season at Double-A Tulsa that can best be described as educational. He struggled through the middle months, but put together a strong finish that pushed his team into the playoffs while producing respectable final numbers -- .285, 12 home runs and 56 RBIs. Arenado and the Rockies believe that successfully working his way through the first extended slump of his career helped him mature.
Story, 20, hit .277 with 18 home runs, a whopping 43 doubles and 63 RBIs in 122 games at Class A Asheville in his first full professional season. His doubles and his 63 extra-base hits led the South Atlantic League, which named him to its postseason All-Star team.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.