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1. Dylan Carlson – OF
2020 Top-30
Age: 21 yr, Weight: 205 lbs, Height: 6-3
Hits/Throws: S/L
School: Elk Grove (CA) HS
MLB Draft: Round 1, Overall: 33
Future Value
Ceiling: 70
Realistic: 60
Current Level: AAA, ETA: 2020
Future middle of the order bat with above-average pop and patience. Has work ethic, and secondary skills to be a star.

You’d be hard pressed to find a prospect that improved his stock more than Dylan Carlson in 2019. The 2016 first rounder’s success can be traced back to a strong offseason that saw him add strength and iron out some issues with his left-handed swing. The early returns were strong and Carlson won the Texas League MVP before his promotion to Triple-A Memphis. He’s always brought strong plate skills and a high baseball IQ to the table, but the hit and power tools jumped last season and he was one of only 10 minor leaguers to post a 20/20 stat line in 2019.

Prior to this season he’s always posted solid numbers with excellent underlying skills and batted ball data, and that strong foundation supported his breakout season. A long time baseball rat, Carlson grew up at the baseball fields as his dad is the head coach at power house Elk Grove High School in California. His baseball instincts and work ethic are unmatched and the makeup is double-plus. The Cardinals have pushed him aggressively through the system despite modest stat lines because of his maturity, and he’s proven he can handle it and he was the second youngest player in the Texas League in 2019.

It’s always more difficult for switch hitters to put it together because they have to maintain two swings, but Carlson is the rare switch-hitter with identical swings from both sides of the plate. He stood taller at the plate than in years past and the leg kick is now thigh high but controlled. There is minimal upper body movement and he’s adept at pulling his hands inside the baseball and driving the ball. His line drive rate was elite at nearly 25 percent. He’s an above average runner with strong instincts, and his stolen bases are more instinct based than pure speed. He will be an above average to plus defender in right but could also be an average center fielder. He’s a low risk prospect and depending on how the offseason shakes out it wouldn’t shock me if he won a starting outfield job this spring despite playing all of 2020 at 21 years old. He went from a prospect outside of the top 200 to a consensus top twenty-five prospect in under a year.