06/05/12 10:00 PM ET
Rockies' top pick thrilled to see dream realized
By Trey Scott / MLB.com
Of course, the Rockies' selecting Dahl was a result of more than a weekday workout. Scouting vice president Bill Schmidt was in Colombia to watch Dahl -- a member of USA's Gold Medal Squad -- drive in 15 runs in 11 games last summer in the Pan American Games."We followed him the last couple of years, hard through the whole process," Schmidt said. "In all the different showcases, he always produced and always hit." For as much as the Rockies wanted Dahl, it's possible he wanted them more. Dahl grew up idolizing Chipper Jones and then, when he figured he'd make a living in the outfield, tried best to emulate Jacoby Ellsbury and Johnny Damon. Dahl has the speed to make such a comparison valid -- he ran a personal-best 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash in his workout with the Rockies -- but not the power numbers. Playing in Denver, where the air is considerably thinner than it is in the Southeast, could change that. "I loved it up there," Dahl said. "The ball just flies." And Dahl likes the idea of playing in Coors Field's spacious and open outfield. "My speed will help me with that," he said. "I'll be able to get good jumps on the ball." Said Schmidt, "He has shown he can cover some ground in the outfield, and that's important in this ballpark. ... He has good instincts." In his final high school season, Dahl hit .435 with 11 doubles, three triples, three homers and 18 stolen bases. An Auburn signee, he declined to discuss whether he'd forgo college in a Tuesday conference call, but the smart money (lots of it, as the Rockies allocated $2.7 million for their first-round pick) says he'll sign with the club. "I'm very excited for this opportunity," Dahl said. "To go in the top 10 is an honor, especially to an organization like the Rockies."
Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.