• 23rd overall: Delvin Perez
• 34th overall: Dakota Hudson
• 70th overall: Connor Jones
"I'm going to be playing professional baseball," said Carlson, whose pick comes with a slot value of $1.9095 million. "It's been a goal of mine, and for it to come true now, I'm very grateful."
Carlson did not rank on MLB.com's Top 200 Draft prospect list, but he put scouts on notice with a terrific senior season at Elk Grove (Calif.) High School. The switch-hitter, who made the transition from first base to the outfield this year, batted .407 with 40 RBIs, 13 doubles and nine homers in 36 games.
Carlson also contributed on the mound, where he finished 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA. In his team's championship game, he threw a four-hit complete game and struck out 10. In four years on the high school varsity team, which his father, Jeff, coached, Carlson captured three championships.
The Cardinals intend to develop him as an outfielder, an opportunity that Carlson said he would welcome.
"He's very, very young," scouting director Randy Flores said. "It'll be interesting to see in four or five years what this kid looks like. [He's] an exciting young [player] with power-hitting potential. He gained steam as the season has gone on."
Carlson, at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, is projected to add more power as he finishes growing. He produced better power numbers from the left side this season, though that was more due to opportunity. Carlson has been switch-hitting since the age of 5.
"I grew up at the baseball field," Carlson explained. "I was a little guy, a natural right-handed hitter, and I saw some of the older players in high school -- and I'm 5 years old -- I see them hitting left-handed, so I just start hitting left-handed, too. Ever since then, I've just been switch-hitting."
Immediately after taking Carlson, the Cardinals used their second compensatory pick on Mississippi State University right-hander Dakota Hudson at No. 34. Those pair of picks were sandwiched between the selection of Delvin Perez (No. 23) and Connor Jones (No. 70).
The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 12 p.m. CT.