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  • Eli Chapman

Cardinals Prospect OF Dylan Carlson ~ Potential new owner of centerfield, or either corner, in 2020?


St. Louis Cardinals, MLB ranked #2 Prospect, Dylan Carlson. He was named 2019 Texas League Player of the Year. (Photo credit: Matt Turer, Springfield Cardinals Double-A)

As the St. Louis Cardinals have done in the past, "promote from within", from their impressive prospect pool. And, since they have not committed to bringing back former LF Marcell Ozuna as of this morning. Nor really any news regarding a free agent or trade for the position. Are they looking to prospect OF Dylan Carlson (21-this past Oct.) to fill the position? Maybe not left field as he is very capable of covering center and both corners.


The young Carlson was amazing in his 2019 minor league campaign, not only at the plate being a switch hitter, but he plays (as mentioned) all outfield positions holding a .991 Fldg%. In 2019, he was promoted to the Cardinals Memphis Triple-A from Springfield (MO) Double-A in the latter portion of the season, August 15.


With the Springfield Cardinals, he held a .281/.364/.518/.882 slashline in 108 games. He logged 117 hits/21 HR/59 RBI/24-2B/2-3B adding 81 runs with 18 stolen bases. Along with extra-base hits (51) and total bases (216).


Carlson's minimal time with Memphis Redbirds, he was still quite impressive. In only 18 games, he held a .361/.418/.681/1.098 slashline with 26 hits/5 HR/9 RBI/4-2B/2-3B adding 14 runs and stole base twice.


In the combined leagues, he held a respectable 58-116/BB-SO ratio.


He closed his 2019 season with hard work which paid off. He earned the 2019 Texas League Player of the Year award, one of the youngest (20) in all the MLB Double-A. He received the honor and joined the most recent Cardinals who have won in the past decade, position players - OF Oscar Taveras (2012) and 1B Matt Adams (2011) as the three Springfield Cardinals who have taken home the league honors since the team's inception in 2005. Also, current Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson winning Texas League Pitcher of the Year in 2017.


"Joining historic company, the first-ever Texas League Player of the Year award was won by St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean of the Houston Buffaloes in 1931. The other St. Louis Cardinals to win the storied award are Nick Cullop (Houston Buffaloes, 1939), Jim Beauchamp (Tulsa Oilers, 1963), Héctor Cruz (Arkansas Travelers, 1973), Ray Lankford (Arkansas Travelers, 1989) and Tyrone Horne (Arkansas Travelers, 1998). (MiLB.com)


To earn that honor, Carlson raised his MLB.com's Prospect Rankings to No. 2 in St. Louis's organization and No. 50 in all of Minor League Baseball with his hard work and decisive improvement in 2019. Adding to his TLPY award, he was selected for the Texas League All Star game and, as a starter. He was a participant in the Texas League Home Run Derby. In addition, he represented the Cardinals in the MLB All-Star Futures Game, in which he notched an RBI single.


WHAT HIS FUTURE MAY HOLD IN 2020


Cardinals fans have read about our extraordinary prospect and were looking to see Carlson make his major league debut in the latter portion of 2019 with the Cardinals. Most assuredly, he will be an invitee (again) for Spring Training at Jupiter FL at Roger Dean Chevrolet complex which opens for business in approximately five weeks.


We will be able to watch him play; and yes, in my opinion, a serious competitor for an outfield position. Yes, 21 years old is young. But I feel the kid 'has it between the ears' much like Cardinals utility OF/IF Tommy Edman. He holds the confidence in himself, not matter the level he plays. Of course, we won't know if he makes the Cardinals 25 man roster until we get closer to March 23, 2020.


There will be quite the 'group' he will be pitted to face, to compete with: Outfielders Harrison Bader, Dexter Fowler, Jose Martinez, Tyler O'Neill, Tommy Edman (?), prospects Lane Thomas, Randy Arozarena, and Justin Williams.


We have seen strong prospects in the past that have done well in Spring Training, but the organization felt more playing time was available to keep them fresh and returned them to their respective minor league teams. Will this be the case for Carlson?


This will be Carlson's fourth time to be a part of Cardinals Spring camp. 2017-2018, very, very few appearances. In 2019, prior to exploding during the season, he did play in 23 G's/44 AB - 11 hits/1 HR/4 RBI/2-2B with 17 total bases to hold a .250 BA/.362 SLG.


SPRING TRAINING OPENS FEBRUARY 12 ~ CARDINALS FIRST GAME FEBRUARY 22.


We all await Spring Training across the country for our respective teams to open for business. Is it unrealistic to think Dylan Carlson will be making his debut in 2020? Not in my opinion. How soon will be the key.


Phillies Bryce Harper was just shy of his 20th birthday when he broke into the majors with the Washington Nationals. He certainly held his own and has put together quite the career in his eight years played already.


Carlson, now 21, why not? Should he continue his strong performances of 2019 during spring camp 2020, I feel, Cardinals will have a decision to make and to say no may be very hard to do.


A SIDE NOTE - PROFOUND STATEMENTS


"30 teams, 30 predictions for 2020 season" ~ by Will Leitch, MLB News Taking each team into consideration, 'big predictions'.


Fast forward, St. Louis Cardinals: The best hitter in their lineup by the end of the season will be Carlson. (Good so far, to a degree of my argument 'prior to'.)

The Cardinals are unlikely to sign an outfielder this offseason out of anticipation for Dylan Carlson, their top prospect. (Good) "He better be what they’re expecting".


What is up with that statement?! Putting the whole season's outcome on Carlson's shoulders? Isn't it possible we could make that statement concerning any high-ranked prospect making their way in the Bigs and beyond? May just be me, but feel that statement is ... a bit overboard.


AND, FURTHER PREDICTION ON MLB "Hot Stove" ~


Personal Disclosure: Not one of my favorite 'in-studio reporters' for MLB, Ken Rosenthal.

Regarding our Cardinals 2020 season. He did put us at the top winning the Central Division. (Chalkboard mark for Ken). However, only 89 wins??!!!! (Erasing his mark earned).

That I totally disagree with. In my own prediction, our Cardinals will be at the 95 (possible+) mark "winning the Central Division".


Which team will be nipping our heals this coming season? The Cincinnati Reds!


Thanks for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter, @elichap822.

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