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Cardinals to promote top prospect Dylan Carlson, per report

Carlson will join the team when they return to the field following their series of outbreak-related postponements

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals-Workouts Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are calling up outfield prospect Dylan Carlson, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Carlson, an outfielder, was a late cut from the team’s roster. His demotion came as a surprise although had reason as he was likely sent down due to service time manipulation.

In 18 games at Triple-A last year, Carlson slashed .361/.418/.681 with five home runs and nine RBI. Despite these strong numbers, Carlson’s time at the highest level of affiliated ball was short as he spent a large chunk of the year in Double-A prior to his promotion to Triple-A. He had a low walk rate and high strikeout rate in Memphis which is a cause for concern as he makes the transition to the majors.

While Double-A stats shouldn’t be relied on too heavily, it should be noted that Carlson spent 108 games at the level last year, adding 21 home runs and 59 RBI. He had a 10.8 percent walk rake and 20.3 strikeout clip, which were better than his results at the level above. However, his slash line was significantly worse as he hit .281/.364/.518. His BABIP was 114 points lower in Double-A than in Triple-A while his wOBA was 61 points lower and his wRC+ was 19 points lower.

With these numbers in mind, it is challenging to project how Carlson will perform in the majors. While his success at the Triple-A level was incredible, it remains to be seen if that was a fluke that lasted 18 games or if the numbers truly justified his play. It should also be noted that while Carlson’s Double-A numbers were far lower than his Triple-A numbers, his performance of Memphis was nothing short of successful as he earned the trust and respect of his teammates, coaches, and higher-ups in the organization.

Currently, Dexter Fowler, Harrison Bader, and Tyler O’Neill make up the Cardinals’ outfield. Carlson will likely transition into a starting role and not become an everyday starter immediately. However, the hope is that he can take over for O’Neill sooner rather than later.

The Cardinals are currently in fourth place in the NL Central but that says more about their current status (2-3 record amidst their organizational outbreak) than their actual performance.

St. Louis is set to return to the field on Saturday for a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox after not playing baseball since July 29 and Dylan Carlson hopes to be involved in a major fashion as he sets his sights on the National League Rookie of the Year award.