Speaking of outfielders that just cannot produce in the ways that the Cardinals have been hoping for, Dylan Carlson was dealt a tough hand this season, being relegated to a fourth or even fifth outfielder for the team at times, getting very inconsistent playing time, and clearly falling out of favor with the club after being their "center fielder of the future" as of last July.
I get the argument that his playing time has been unfair and detrimental to his development. I also understand that Carlson is still a young player with tons of potential. But at some point, even in the few opportunities he has gotten, Carlson has to start showing he's a better player than the results have been this season.
Sometimes I feel like different people act as though the moment Carlon gets to start every day, he's going to blossom into a borderline All-Star level outfielder. Sure, maybe that happens, but it's hard to explain why the Cardinals should play him more when he is batting .219/.318/.333 with 5 HR and 27 RBI in his 219 plate appearances this season.
Carlson's calling card at the plate has been his ability to his left-handed pitching at an elite level, but he is now down to a .770 OPS against southpaws. That's pretty good, but not the special trait it has been for him. Against right-handed pitchers, he's basically unplayable with a .196/.288/.304 slash line.
Carlson is a good defender, but he's not a great one either. He is at his best in the corner outfield spots, and although he makes some great plays in center field, he just isn't a good enough defender out there to overlook how bad his bat has been.
I really hope, and still believe, there is more to Carlson's ability than he has shown in the last two years. But considering the Cardinals have passed over him so many times this season, and shopped him at the deadline, I'm guessing we'll see him dealt this offseason.