David Dahl Gets a Second Chance with the Padres
A former NL All-Star is back in the Majors.
The Padres will begin the 2023 campaign against the Rockies, and a former top Colorado draft pick will start the year on San Diego’s roster. Outfielder David Dahl has reportedly been selected by the Padres, giving the 28-year-old his first crack at Major League pitching since 2021.
Related: Our Predictions for the 2023 MLB Season
A Look at Dahl
A former first-round pick by the Rockies in 2012, new Padres outfielder David Dahl will return to the Majors for the first time since 2021. In his last tour in the MLB, Dahl hit just .210 and posted a .569 OPS over 205 at-bats with the Rangers in 2021. Last year, he spent the entire 2022 campaign in AAA. Between Nashville and Rochester, Dahl hit .279/.345/.442 with 10 home runs and 51 runs batted in over 85 games.
Dahl proved to be a very astute hitter early in his MLB career, thanks to good vision and good bat-to-ball skills. The ex-Rockie hit .315 in 2016 as a 22-year-old rookie, and posted a .302/.353/.524 slash line in his lone All-Star campaign in 2019. However, Dahl has been well-known for being an aggressive hitter at the plate. He’s never recorded high walk totals, and regular posted high Chase% and Whiff% rates in his Major League career.
Durability concerns have also been a question mark for Dahl, dating back to his early days in the Minors. The 28-year-old has deal with a myriad of injuries over the years, and he’s only had one Major League season in which he played 100 games or more.
The 28-year-old had a solid spring with the Padres, in which he notched 17 hits — seven of which were extra base hits — over 22 Cactus League games.
A Look at the Padres Outfield
Dahl is set to join a Padres outfield group that will include Juan Soto and Trent Grisham, with Matt Carpenter and possibly Jose Azocar among other options for San Diego. With Adam Engel set to begin the season on the IL and Fernando Tatis Jr. ineligible to play at the start of 2023 due to a suspension, San Diego needed another outfield to slot into its roster on a temporary basis.
If Dahl can find his groove, the 28-year-old can be a very nice platoon option against right-handed pitchers. Dahl, a left-handed hitter, is a career .283 hitter against righties. And, his .826 OPS against right-handed pitchers is — to little shock — significantly better than his figure against lefties (.665). He’ll need to do well against righties, in order to have a good chance of sticking on the Padres roster once Engel and Tatis Jr. are ready to go.