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Prospect Roundup: Is Ryan McMahon a better Rockies prospect than David Dahl?

A recent Q&A on Baseball America revealed that some scouts may perceive Ryan McMahon as a better prospect than David Dahl. Also included is a roundup of stats and videos from around the Rockies minor leagues.

Ryan McMahon
Ryan McMahon
by Charlie Drysdale

A recent chat on Baseball America revealed a statement which involved the comparison of David Dahl vs Ryan McMahon. The inquiry started innocent enough, questioning the legitimacy of McMahon's numbers due to the park he's playing in. McCormick field is a bandbox which sits at an elevation of 2,000 feet and is ranked by Minorleaguecental.com as one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the minor leagues.

The answer from Baseball America's Vincent Lara-Cinisomo may be surprising to some Rockies fans, claiming that not only are McMahon's numbers legitimate, but that Ryan McMahon is a better prospect than David Dahl.

Trevor (Denver): What's your take on Ryan McMahon, a guy merely being helped out by his home park, or truly a guy to be excited about as Rox's fan?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Listen to one scout and he's a guy the Rockies should be very excited about. This evaluator said McMahon was the real deal, a better prospect than David Dahl and a guy who, even at his age, crushes mistakes. The future relies on Arenado. If Arenado stays, the Rockies can look to move McMahon as a big piece to acquire another big piece.

The bold statement raised my own eyebrows because the center fielder is more highly regarded in every major publication ranking. However, Dahl hasn't been the hottest of prospects recently and perhaps that view will change over the next release of rankings.

Drafted with the 10th selection in the first round of the 2012 class, Dahl is considered a toolsy outfielder with gap power and good contact skills. McMahon was selected a little lower, in the second round of the 2013 draft, and has been praised for a smooth swing and the rare ability to hit from the left side while playing a solid third base. One writer even wondered if McMahon could become the type of player Ian Stewart never lived up to. Both players were picked out of high school and bat from the left side. So there's a lot of similarities in the two.

For a better idea of their differences, let's take a look at MLB.com's scouting grades of the two players.

Hit

Power

Run

Arm

Field

Overall

David Dahl

60

60

60

60

60

55

Ryan McMahon

55

50

40

55

50

50

Dahl ranks higher across the board in these scouting reports, reflecting his higher ranking overall. Both players are considered Top 10 at their position, although Dahl (No. 6) is slightly higher than McMahon (No. 10) at a more crowded position. I'm expecting McMahon's power ranking to improve quite a bit after his power display in the South Atlantic League. Meanwhile, Dahl's power may drop slightly while his defensive measurements could get a positive bump based on glowing reports of his fielding.

Both players had breakout seasons in their debut at Rookie-level Grand Junction and were teamed together in Asheville to start the 2014 season. Here's a head-to-head comparison of the two players performances in both Grand Junction and at Asheville.

Team

G

PA

HR

SB

BB%

K%

AVG

OBP

SLG

wRC+

David Dahl

GJ Rockies

67

306

9

12

6.9 %

13.7 %

0.379

0.423

0.625

161

Ryan McMahon

GJ Rockies

59

251

11

4

11.2 %

23.5 %

0.321

0.402

0.583

147

David Dahl

Asheville

88

413

10

18

5.6 %

15.5 %

0.305

0.345

0.501

132

Ryan McMahon

Asheville

105

465

14

6

9.5 %

26.2 %

0.284

0.352

0.499

133

Dahl's time in Grand Junction was more highly regarded as indicated by his wRC+. He hit for a very high average, with a good power display and double-digit stolen base totals which earned him the league MVP award. McMahon also had a strong debut and a good follow-up campaign where he may have surpassed Dahl in the power area, due in a large part to his hot April, in which he hit nine home runs. In the four months since, the California native has cooled off totaling just seven in that span.

When it comes to weaknesses, the two players have separate issues they're working to improve on. McMahon is struggling with strikeouts and against a pretty extreme left-handed split, he's also racked up a lot of errors mostly from throwing off target.

All are areas in which Dahl excels in, his splits are almost exactly even and from what I can tell, he's receiving rave reviews for his outfield defense. The Alabama native is struggling with perception issues. After setting the world on fire in his debut, Dahl has fallen back to earth, producing good, but not great numbers. He's also fighting against the stigma which was attached to him since being punished for disciplinary issues back in 2013.

The good news is that both players are highly regarded fielding prospects who are several years younger than the league average they are playing against. Dahl was recently promoted to High-A Modesto, and after a slow start is now heating up with an average of .381 in his last five games.

As far as the comparison goes, I would have to give Dahl the nod, based on his defensive prowess and even splits. But there's no denying that Ryan McMahon has taken advantage of his opportunities and is further ahead of Dahl at the same point in their careers. But what do you guys think, who would you rank higher as a prospect?

Hottest Prospects

Pitchers

Name

Age

Tm

W

L

Sv

BF

IP

G

ERA

H

R

ER

K

Tyler Anderson

24.5

TUL

2

0

0.0

45

12.0

2.0

2.3

5.00

3.00

3.00

12

Alec Crawford

22.4

GJ

0

1

1.0

15

2.2

3.0

3.4

6.00

3.00

1.00

4

Kyle Freeland

21.1

2 Tms

2

0

0.0

36

10.0

2.0

0.0

5.00

0.00

0.00

11

Jon Gray

22.6

TUL

0

0

0.0

24

7.0

1.0

1.3

2.00

1.00

1.00

6

Luis Guzman

18.3

DSL ROCK

0

0

0.0

21

6.0

1.0

0.0

2.00

0.00

0.00

2

Sam Howard

21.3

GJ

1

0

0.0

37

9.0

2.0

0.0

7.00

0.00

0.00

11

Jorge Oviedo

17.7

DSL ROCK

0

0

0.0

42

11.0

2.0

1.6

6.00

2.00

2.00

11

Hitters

Name

Age

Tm

PA

2B

3B

HR

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Shane Hoelscher

22.75

TRI

25

3

0

0

3

0.450

0.560

0.600

1.160

Kevin Padlo

17.92

GJ

24

1

1

2

2

0.286

0.375

0.714

1.089

Jordan Patterson

22.33

ASH

22

1

0

2

0

0.368

0.409

0.737

1.146

Correlle Prime

20.33

ASH

28

6

0

0

0

0.385

0.429

0.615

1.044

Wilfredo Rodriguez

20.42

ASH

12

0

0

0

0

0.545

0.545

0.545

1.090

Raimel Tapia

20.33

ASH

25

2

0

0

1

0.409

0.480

0.500

0.980

Stats from Minorleaguecentral.com based on their Hot Sheet for 7/31-8/7.

Hottest videos of the week

"The most unlikeliest of heroes", Sky Sox announcer after Angelys Nina belts a 12th inning walkoff home run.

Double off the wall for Kyle Parker, his 25 doubles represent a high water mark in his minor league career.

Trevor Story with a deep drive near his hometown of Irving, Texas.

Ryan Casteel with one of his 16 homers on the year.

Jon Gray pours on the high gas for his sixth strikeout back on August 1.

Dom Nunez with a no-doubter in Grand Junction.