I think Dylan Carlson should be an everyday outfielder in this league. I think he'll end up being a very good one too. Does he have star potential? No. But have the Cardinals stunted his growth as a player? I believe so.
That's what happens when you have so many players you want to give playing time to. You can argue the opportunities they kept giving to O'Neill and Alec Burleson this year were a big miss on the team's end. Carlson has not gotten a fair shake as an outfielder for the team. But honestly, I don't think he's been as "mistreated" as many have cried out.
Carlson has played in 370 games, amassed 1429 plate appearances, and has slashed .247/.327/.403 with a 104 wRC+ and is a career 5.7 WAR player. He's just 24 years old and almost everyone can see the potential that is still there with him, so I'm not at all trying to diminish him as a player.
Over his last 30 games, Carlson is slashing .263/.433/.400 and has played excellent defense. #EveryDayDylan (that was for those of you Carlson "stans" on Twitter), is alive and well as of late.
The issue here is the Cardinals. If they aren't going to give Carlson a fair run as a starting outfielder, that is a total misfire on their own end. Teams were calling them last summer with great interest in Carlson. He was a prized prospect not too long ago. Relegating him to the fourth outfielder role now and paving the way for a "break up" was just really poor management on the Cardinals' end.