As Major League Baseball was ready to wrap up the end of the first round with a pair of selections by the St. Louis Cardinals a familiar name was announced by Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred: "With the 33rd pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals select Dylan Carlson, outfielder, from Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove, California."
The 6-3, 220-pound all-around player for the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I champions jumped out of the pile of prospects on the lists of baseball brass and into the opening round of MLB's 2016 Draft Thursday night.
|Dylan Carlson, drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round|
The selection, the second of three first round picks by the Cardinals, took many of the experts by surprise because MLB.Com didn't even have Carlson rated in the top 200 prospects.
"It is a bit of a surprise," John Manuel of Baseball America said during the live telecast on Thursday. "He's a guy with a ton of intangibles. He may be the best make-up guy in the whole draft. It's a baseball family, his dad is a coach, a baseball program that has produced high draft picks like Rowdy Tellez and J.D. Davis. It's a well-regarded program. So, he grew up around that program, switch hits and last year at the Area Code Games he played first base, but this spring moved to the outfield. He's shown scouts average run times and will likely stay in the outfield, probably not center, likely left. He pitches as well and has arm strength, but what you are buying is a sweet swing and projectable power."
Other experts said the choice of Carlson was good for the Cardinals, but surprised he would be selected in the first round. They surmise it was because team officials think they can sign Carlson this summer.
Carlson, who drilled ten home runs this season for the Thundering Herd and batted .394, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play next season for Cal State - Fullerton.
Harold Reynolds, a former Seattle Mariner infielder and MLB Network commentator loved the pick of Carlson.
"A switch-hitter, his dad is a coach, he's got great size, the things you look for," Reynolds said. "I love the fact he slipped under the radar."
Carlson is a four-year starter who was on Herd baseball teams that won three of the last four Section Division I championships. His father, Jeff, has been the Herd head varsity coach for 15 seasons and has won seven Section titles.