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June 4, 2012

Dahl, Russell selected in first-round of MLB Draft

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Prized Auburn baseball signees David Dahl and Addison Russell were taken back-to-back in Monday night's 2012 MLB Draft.

Dahl, an outfielder from Oak Mountain High School (Ala.), was selcted No. 10 overall by the Colorado Rockies. Russell, a shortstop from Pace High School (Fla.), was selected No. 11 overall by the Oakland Athletics. It was the first time the A's selected a high school player since 2001.

Dahl's choice at No. 10 overall makes him the highest high school selection from the state of Alabama since Lee-Huntsville's Condredge Holloway went No. 4 overall to the Expos in 1971.

New collective bargaining agreements have given each MLB team a pool of money for the entire draft, and slotted money for each draft pick. Dahl's contract is slotted for $2.7 million, while Russell's contract is slotted for $2.625 million.

Here's what MLB.com has to to say on the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Dahl:

Strong summer performances helped Dahl show he was over his bout with mono and move up Draft lists everywhere.Dahl gets some comparisons to Johnny Damon, both in terms of body type and somewhat how he plays the game. He doesn't have the power Damon has shown - Dahl's more of an alley guy - but he's got a good approach at the plate, makes consistent contact and uses his speed well on both sides of the ball. He should hit for plenty of average and be a base-stealing threat. He's above average defensively in terms of range and arm, and his baseball IQ helps all of his tools play up.Dahl can get a little lengthy with his swing, some added strength would help his power profile a bit and he's still learning how to read fly balls off the bat. Even with that, his tools will have many going to Alabama in the spring.

Here's what MLB.com had to say about the 6-foot, 215-pound Russell:

A shortstop in high school, perhaps a third baseman at the next level, it doesn't matter. It will be Russell's bat that gets him drafted.The Florida prep infielder has very good bat speed and doesn't get cheated at the plate, with above-average power to his pull side. He's an average runner who is better underway. He does have some good defensive skills, with plus arm strength and good hands.He's gotten a little thicker recently and there was some question about his range to begin with, so a move to third makes sense. He will also need to stay back more at the plate and not get fooled by offspeed stuff, things that should come with time and experience. He should profile very well as an every-day third baseman when all is said and done.

Dahl hit .412 his senior year with 18 stolen bases and three home runs. Dahl hit nine home runs in his workout for the Rockies last week in Colorado. Russell hit .361 with eight homers and 33 RBIs this year in leading them to the Class 6A state finals.

Most mock drafts had Dahl going early to mid-first-round. But Russell's selection was higher than most predicted, with many mock drafts placing Russell mid to late first-round. Both are anticipated to turn professional, the signing deadline is July 13.



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