St. Louis Cardinals: Dylan Carlson is putting our minds at ease
After a rough start to the spring, Dylan Carlson is red hot at the plate and is calming any nerves fans had about the St. Louis Cardinals right fielder.
As much as any rational brain knows that spring stats don’t matter, it can still be tough to sit and watch a player struggle each time they go out there. This spring, there have been multiple bats for the St. Louis Cardinals that have struggled.
Quietly, the one that was most concerning was Dylan Carlson’s. 2021 is the year that Carlson gets to prove he is worthy of the prospect hype. To prove that he can be a big part of the future of the Cardinals. This doesn’t mean he has to win Rookie of the Year or even hit some arbitrary line that somehow decides if he’s good or not.
All that Carlson needs to show in 2021 is improvement and to do that he needs to play. This spring, Carlson has rightly been doing a lot of that. Out of all the batters for the Cards this spring, Carlson has the most at-bats with 34. However, the first half of those were troublesome.
On March 12, about two weeks into the start of spring games, Carlson was batting .200 with a .494 OPS. He had one walk and six strikeouts and hadn’t hit a homer. At the plate, it looked like Carlson was swinging out of his shoes and just missing a lot of pitches he shouldn’t.
It was clear his timing was off (which is what spring training is here for), and it just looked bad. Recently, however, Carlson has turned things around in a big way.
Carlson got out in his last at-bat Monday, dropping his average to .294, but the point is still relevant: Carlson is just fine.
In his last three games, Carlson has gone 5-8 with two homers. In such a small sample size, that is easily enough production to turn things around in the stat sheet.
The thing to love about Carlson’s at-bats the past two days is he looks super confident at the plate. Both of these homers were demolished, and the second one was off Sandy Alcantara’s 95 mph fastball in on the hands.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
Carlson has been fun to watch the few days and hopefully the 22-year-old has a lot of fun this year. It remains to be seen where Mike Shildt plans to bat Carlson to start the year, but spring training lineups suggest somewhere around 6th or 7th in the lineup.
It’s easy to get excited about Carlson’s potential, but starting him down there instead of the top of the order isn’t the end of the world. He’s a rookie who got buried in his first stint with the big club. Letting him get his feet under him and then moving him back up later if needed works just fine.
Carlson is just another great example of why spring stats don’t matter much. Small sample sizes can bring out fan fears easier than almost anything else. Carlson will be just fine.