LA Angels: 3 reasons David Dahl makes perfect sense for the Halos
By Justin Gideon
Although 2020 has already been an eternity, we are not as far removed from Dahl’s stellar 2019 season as it feels. Before suffering a season-ending high-ankle sprain in August, he was a dominant force at the plate, compiling a slash line of .302/.353/.524 with 15 HR and 61 RBI over 374 at bats. At the time of the injury, he was on pace to finish the season with 109 R, 24 HR, and 98 RBI. His performance was good enough to earn him All-Star honors.
A big reason leading to Dahl’s release was his disastrous 2020 campaign, where he accumulated a slash line of .183/.222/.247 with 0 HR over 98 at bats. As a result of his poor performance, he was strapped for playing time, as the Rockies outfield depth was able to force him from receiving regular starts. Not only is 98 at bats an incredibly small sample size, but Dahl also dealt with injuries including lower back soreness and a right shoulder strain.
Dahl’s history and skill set suggest that this past season was a fluke, and most teams in the league began salivating when the news that he was non-tendered broke, the Angels hopefully being one of them.
Before making his debut in 2016, Dahl was considered a top prospect, ranking 47th on MLB’s list. The scouting grades listed him as 55 overall (hit: 60, power: 55, run: 60, arm: 55, field: 60). Since then, Dahl has shown he is definitely capable of living up to those expectations. His 2019 Statcast numbers only reinforce that, as his average exit velocity was 88.7 mph, a hard hit % of 22.7%, and a barrel % of 10.3%. Not only does his hitting profile stand out, but across the board, he has shown he can contribute in every aspect of the game from fielding to base-running. His outfield jump ranks him in the 65th percentile and his outs above average put him in the 74th percentile. His sprint speed of 28.1 ft/s puts him in the 76th percentile.
With him now being a free agent, the Angels now have a chance to add to their already 5-tool loaded outfield of Mike Trout and Jo Adell. This move could arguably make the Halos outfield one of the best in the league. So good in fact that Hollywood will be forced to make a sequel to Angels in the Outfield (1994).
OK, that may be unlikely, but you do have to admit a Dahl signing would only make them better. You may still skeptical and thinking to yourself, “OK, Dahl is great, but we need to focus on pitching”. This brings me to my next argument.