Dylan Carlson’s first 11 days in the major leagues saw him slug a double on his first day and a homer eight days later.
The outfielder from Elk Grove, who travelled from Springfield to St. Louis to play his first MLB game after receiving the good news from Cardinals coach Jose Oquendo, has also made his impact with several defensive plays that have resulted in an overall successful debut.
“The other day they told me I was coming up here and I had to drive from Springfield to St. Louis and I got to ride the bus with the team and now we’re here and playing ball so you can’t complain,” Carlson said on Aug. 15.
Wearing the number three, he told media in the postgame press conference he had an inkling what his number might be after seeing his equipment that first day.
Seeing his first big league uniform was unforgettable.
“To see that uniform, it’s real special,” Carlson said with a smile.
Carlson hit a home run on Aug. 23, helping the Cardinals defeat the Reds 6-2. Carlson went 2 for 4 in the game with two runs and two RBI.
“What a special moment for Dylan, I mean it’s his first homer in the big leagues. He’s just a very steady guy that’s got a nice approach,” said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt during the team’s postgame conference. “He doesn’t try to do too much, he’s letting the game come to him. For a young guy, it’s very impressive what he’s doing.”
“It was so exciting. Just trying to come through right there in that situation and for that to happen, I was really fired up... definitely something I’ll always remember,” Carlson said.
Carlson played last season at Double-A Springfield and moved his way up to Triple-A Memphis, where he batted .361 with 26 hits, 14 runs, nine RBI and five home runs in 18 games.
In his most recent game before publication of The Elk Grove Citizen, Carlson went 1 for 3 with a run and a walk in the Cardinals’ 5-4 loss to Kansas City on Aug. 25.
Carlson, who was a member of Elk Grove High School’s Thundering Herd before graduating in 2016, was drafted that same year by the Cardinals as the 33rd overall pick. The son of iconic former Herd baseball head coach Jeff Carlson, Carlson and the Herd won the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 Championship and league championship along with his dad his senior year in 2016.
In his major league debut, Carlson went 0 for 3 in the first game of a double-header then nabbed his first major league hit when he went 1 for 3 in the second game of the Aug. 15 doubleheader against the White Sox with a double and a walk.
“I was pretty excited, more than anything. I was excited to get out there and play, to get some wins,” Carlson, 21, said of hearing from Jose Oquendo that he’d been called up. “It’s been everything you can dream of, pretty much.”
In his next game, he went 1 for 4 in the Cardinals’ 7-2 loss to the White Sox.
In his short time with the Cardinals, patience and learning from veterans in the clubhouse has been a key aspect of his time in St. Louis.
“It’s just been a lot of learning, a lot of trusting. It’s been a good first week, a lot of learning like I said. I’m learning a lot from the guys in the clubhouse this first week. A lot of them are talking to me, passing along some wisdom, just trying to take advantage of it every day so it’s been a beneficial week.”