On March 26th, 2023, I made 7 bold predictions about the St. Louis Cardinals upcoming season. These were intentionally bold predictions, meant to push the envelope beyond what the typical expectations were and instead "go out on a limb" a bit to see what may happen.
Looking back on the list, some of these takes aged pretty well, while others did not, so I'd like to revisit these 7 predictions and see where I got things right, or where things went wrong for the Cardinals in that regard this year.
Prediction #1 - Dylan Carlson becomes the clear fourth outfielder
I started this prediction by acknowledging some would not think this was all that bold (and I promise I have some very bold ones after this), but if you take yourself back to the rhetoric of many fans and media last spring, many were advocating hard for Carlson to be an everyday player.
Instead, Jordan Walker made the Opening Day roster, Tyler O'Neill started the year as the club's center fielder, and Lars Nootbaar was in the other corner outfield spot. For a large chunk of the year, you could even argue that Alec Burleson was higher on the depth chart than Carlson.
Well, this prediction was about what Carlson would become, and if you listen to John Mozeliak this offseason, he has consistently referred to Carlson as the club's fourth outfielder. Carlson is the immediate backup at all three outfield positions and especially provides depth in center field with Tommy Edman being the starter at the moment.
Carlson has had a disappointing couple of seasons after a really promising rookie year, and there's a real chance he will find a way to carve out an even bigger role this season if he continues improving his game, or gets a chance elsewhere as a part of a trade package. But for now, my prediction about Carlson was spot on.