Rockies Make History With Prep Pick

DENVER The Rockies made history in their 21st draft. They took high school outfielder in the first round for the first time, selecting center fielder David Dahl out of Oak Mountain High in Birmingham with the 10th overall selection.

With the 46th overall pick, a supplemental selection for the loss of free agent second baseman Mark Ellis, the Rockies took righthander Eddie Butler from Radford.

Scouting director Bill Schmidt called Dahl, 18, who bats left and throws right, a "kind of Andy Van Slyke-type" who possesses "a combination of some speed and power that we think is ultimately going to translate up here."

The Rockies previously took an outfielder in the first round in 2010, when they selected Kyle Parker out of Clemson with the 26th overall pick. The Rockies last took a high school player in the first round in 2004 when they selected infielder Chris Nelson with the ninth overall pick.

Schmidt said Dahl, who has signed a letter of intent with Auburn, has the ability to play center field in spacious Coors Field. The Rockies think the 6-foot-2,185-pound Dahl will fill out and gain strength as he fully matures and becomes immersed in their development program. If the power develops and he moves to a corner outfield position, Schmidt said, Dahl's ability to cover ground would make him a huge defensive asset.

Schmidt said Dahl has a solid average arm and occasionally shows above-average arm strength. His eye-opening 60-yard dash times, Schmidt said, range consistently from the mid 6.4 seconds to 6.5 seconds.

Dahl hit .412 with 11 doubles, three triples, three homers, 17 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in his senior season at Oak Mountain. Butler went 7-4, 2.20 at Radford with 23 walks and 95 strikeouts in 98 innings.

Schmidt said in a draft not heavily loaded with pitching, the Rockies were looking for an arm when they took Butler. "And he was the best, we felt, that had a chance to pitch up here at the major league level," Schmidt said. "(A) sinker, slider guy—we feel his fastball has a chance to play in this ballpark at altitude."

Schmidt said Butler, 21, who is 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, should fill out and  compared his body type to that of Bronson Arroyo or a smaller version of brothers Jered and Jeff Weaver.

"He's going to be lean and wiry, but it's a loose arm," Schmidt said, adding the Rockies don't envision moving Butler to the bullpen. "We felt he had the ability to start. He showed the ability to pitch deep into games in college and we think he'll be able to do it here in the professional level."

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