Allan Dykstra was drafted in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. He played his college ball at Wake Forest University, and the Demon Deacon was considered one of the top power threats in college baseball at the time.
Some considered Dykstra to be a better prospect than Ike Davis coming out of college, mainly because of his power and his ability to get on base. He was a sabermetrician’s dream player.
Maybe even Alderson believed this, which is why he went and traded for the first baseman that the Padres selected with their first round pick in 2008 while Alderson was the CEO of the team.
While some saw Dykstra’s potential, others considered him a guy whose game would not translate in the professional ranks. He would have to undergo major swing overhauls if he was ever going to have success hitting with a wooden bat. Defensively, he would be limited to first base due to his size — 6 feet 5 inches tall and 240 lbs.
After a few lackluster years where Dykstra never batted over .270 in a season, he seems to be putting it together at 26 years old. In 2013, he had exceeded all of his offensive numbers from 2012 in fewer games played. Along with his 18 homeruns, he batted .274, and was getting on base over 40% of the time (.436 OBP). This was a breakout season for Dykstra.
His patience at the plate seems to be the difference in 2013, and one of his more impressive stats this year has to be that he walked as much as he has struck out. The combination of patience and power finally coming together has gotten Dykstra back on the radar.
It’s time to take Dykstra seriously—and why not, he played in his first professional All-Star game when he took the field with fellow Binghamton Mets players Cesar Puello, Josh Rodriguez, Logan Verrett and Jeff Walters during the Eastern League All-Star Game in New Britain, Connecticut on July 10.
Adam Rubin recently asked Dykstra if he thought he was back on the radar after his monster first-half of 2013. Dykstra replied, “I can’t personally say that. I hope that’s true. I’m having a great year. Personally, my confidence is back. I feel like I did when I got drafted, where I know what I’m doing with my swing. It’s not really up to me to decide if I’m back on the radar or not.”
Dykstra has definitely established himself as a prospect to keep an eye on moving forward. With first base wide open for the Mets, Dykstra’s performance in 2013 should not, and can not be overlooked. His winter league stint was cut short by a fractured fibula, but up until his injury, he hadn’t skipped a beat. Expect Dykstra to start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas, and put some pressure on the Mets regarding who their first baseman is for the next few seasons.
(Photo Credit: Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)