Analysis of a top prospect and what to expect:
Dylan Carlson is a top outfield prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is rated as the number 17 prospect by MLB.com and the top prospect in the Cardinals minor league system. The 6’3″ switch hitting prospect is very talented. That has been the case throughout the entirety of his minor league career. He has hit a combined 47 home runs in 403 games spanning from Rookie ball to AAA in the PCL. It is a certainty that Dylan will be in the majors as soon as the season is allowed to start. The only issue that may hold him back would be his service time and the rule that allows teams to gain another year of control over a player. A player like Dylan is good enough that the thought of an extra year of him at a controlled salary would be ideal. I will dive into more of why that would be ideal with a walk-through of his stats.
The BLOSSOMING talent of a future all-star
I rarely use the term All-Star on future but Dylan seems like a lock in this category. His minor league stats show a clear progression and it seems that he is getting better at each level.
At the beginning of his career in Peoria for the Chiefs he wasn’t really defined as a hitter yet. His average was on the lower end of the .200s. This will happen with high-school prospects. Whenever an 18-year-old kid comes out of high-school, it is hard to adjust to the nature of the game in the minors. They are seeing a huge jump in the level of competition that they are used to facing. This seemed to be the case for Dylan. However, after one season in Peoria, he got promoted to advanced A with the Palm Beach Cardinals. He seemed to struggle less with strikeouts that season and grew as a hitter with a .247 average. The season that really changed everything for him was last season. He went from hitting in the .240s to the .280s+. His line in AA in 108 games will speak about his potential, .281/.364/.518 with 21 homers and 24 doubles. It seems that his power grew into this year. The best saying I have heard about this is that great hitters will develop power with age, and great power hitters rarely develop contact with age (i.e. Chris Davis). Dylan also had a stay with the AAA Cardinals associate to end the season. He had 18 games that seemed like he is ready for the big stage. His slash line was .361/.418/.681 with 5 home runs in 72 at-bats. That would roughly be 30 homers in the course of a season with 425 at-bats. For a little more on Dylan check out this news interview below.
Is Dylan ready for the spotlight?
This is the part of the article that many people will want to skip to, is Dylan Carlson ready for the limelight? The answer to this question is always hard to find. A player like Dylan Carlson, however, is easier to find the answer for. I think that he will be ready for the spotlight when it shines his way. He will be a key piece in the Cardinals organization. I believe that his success in the past year is the reason that they weren’t willing to overpay Marcell Ozuna. All of these point to good signs for Dylan. I will tamper my own expectations a bit due to the fact that I am a Cardinals fan but, I think he will put up a solid .270 average, 25 homers, and 15 steals. Do I think that he has more upside than that? Yes, I believe that his upside could be in the .300 AVG, 35 homers, and 25 steal category. The closest player that reminds me of Dylan Carlson would be Cody Bellinger, especially if you compare their swings. The fact that both had comparable lines in AA makes me consider it even more. Cody had a line of .263/.359/.484 with 23 homers and 17 doubles in 399 at-bats. Compare that to Dylan’s line of .281/.364/.518 with 21 homers and 24 doubles in 417 at-bats. I will put a disclaimer that while I compare him to Cody Bellinger, there is no assurance that he can compare to the NL MVP. The rest is up to Dylan. It is clear we will see him in 2020 if there is a season. Keep your eye on Dylan for the future.