OF Dylan Carlson was placed on the IL by the St. Louis Cardinals, and now the long-awaited debut of OF/DH Alec Burleson is upon us.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that OF Dylan Carlson would be placed on the 10-day IL with a left thumb sprain, and top 100 prospect OF/DH Alec Burleson has received a call up to replace him on the roster. To make room for Burleson on the roster, OF Connor Capel was designated for an assignment.
Burleson is one of the many prospects in the Cardinals system that has generated a ton of excitement over the 2022 season. Drafted with the 70th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Burleson has blossomed as a hitter in AAA Memphis this year, hitting .331 with 20 HR and 87 RBI in 432 ABs. Although he may be a liability in the field, Burleson’s bat was far too promising to leave in Memphis any longer.
MLB.com has Burleson as the 92nd ranked prospect in baseball, and other outlets are even higher on the 23-year old slugger. Burleson will provide St. Louis with another bat in the lineup who can hit not just for a high on-base percentage, which is .372 on the year, but can also hit for power. If Burleson translates his success quickly at the Major League level, he could find himself on the Cardinals postseason roster.
Carlson has had an up and down 2022 season. After being subject to trade rumors around the trade deadline, Carlson has really struggled, and maybe a brief stint on the IL will give him time to rest up, as well as reset, specifically at the plate. On the season, Carlson is slashing .240/.316/.702 with 8 HR and 39 RBI while playing elite defense in center and right field. The big issue for Carlson has been his inability to hit right-handed pitching, where his slash line drops to .209/.288/.341.
Carlson has always been elite against left-handed pitching, and if part of that success can translate to right-handed pitching, he will be inserted right back into the everyday lineup upon return. If not, Carlson may be nothing more than a platoon option against left-handed pitching and an elite defensive replacement.
The encouraging this for St. Louis is that they have a wealth of options internally for the outfield. This week, I re-ranked the ceilings of the Cardinals outfielders, including Burleson and Carlson. Check out where they fell on the rankings here.