Dylan Carlson’s dream baseball run continues.
After leading Elk Grove High School to a second consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship earlier this month and earning The Bee’s Player of the Year honors, the slugging outfielder Wednesday signed for a $1.33 million bonus with the St. Louis Cardinals, who picked the switch hitter with a first-round compensation pick in last week’s Major League Baseball draft.
“This is the best organization in baseball,” Carlson told the Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat. “I’m doing something I’ve always dreamed of. This is just unbelievable. I can’t even put it into words, I’m so excited. I’m ready to play some baseball.”
Carlson was drafted 33rd overall despite not being listed among the top 200 prospects. At age 17, Carlson was one of the youngest players selected in the 40-round draft and his potential to grow as a player is immense.
Carlson signed his contract, which was $550,000 under the valued slot for a 33rd pick, with his father and Thundering Herd coach, Jeff, and mother, Caryn, by his side.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Carlsons were guests of the Cardinals, who housed the family in a hotel that overlooks Busch Stadium. Later Wednesday, Carlson took part in the Cardinals’ pregame batting practice, hitting several baseballs over the fence off hitting coach John Mabry, and stayed to watch the Cardinals play the Houston Astros.
Carlson will report to the Cardinals’ minor-league rookie team in the Gulf Coast League. Carlson, 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, batted .406 with nine home runs, 13 doubles, 40 RBIs and 41 runs for Elk Grove as a senior. He played outfield and also pitched.
“I can play multiple positions,” he said. “It’s something I’m proud of and (something) I’ve been working on. Now that it’s time to perform, I’m going to go out and show people.
“I want to become a better player, strengthen myself in all areas. I’m just going to do what the Cardinals tell me to do. I’m going to do it to the best of my abilities.”
Right-handed pitcher Matt Manning, the ninth-overall pick by the Detroit Tigers out of Sheldon High School, is in contract negotiations.