Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Dawson spent the majority of the 2018 season with High-A Buies Creek and earned a promotion to AA Corpus Christi on July 30th. The Ohio State University product finished the year slashing a cumulative .258/.333/.428 with 16 homeruns and 42 extra base hits.
Dawson sports a muscular, athletic frame and a strong build that lacks any further projection. Offensively, Dawson has a simple setup and quiet load with an uphill bat path to create loft. Dawson’s approach at the plate has been impressive, and he has exhibited solid plate coverage and barreled up balls on the inner and outer thirds of the plate. With above-average bat speed, overall strength, and a bat path meant to hit the ball in the air, Dawson projects to generate average over-the-fence pop at maturity. His upper-cut swing is going to come with some swing-and-miss as the barrel doesn’t stay on the pitch plane very long, but his approach is continuing to improve, and helps project the hit tool to a future 50-grade as well.
Despite his average foot speed, Dawson’s instincts help make up the difference on defense. He has shown quick reactions and reads in center field that, when coupled with an average arm, help project an overall average defender in center. On the bases, Dawson has shown advanced instincts and base-stealing ability, stealing 35-of-49 bags during the 2018 campaign. His instincts on the bases help add value to his profile by pressuring defenses as a consistent threat on the bases. Dawson has a low-risk floor as a Role 45, fourth outfielder, and ceiling as a Role 50, everyday center fielder.