It’s only April, but Dylan Carlson just made the throw of the year
After taking a circuitous route to a fly ball over his head in center field, Carlson recovered to nail Luis Guillorme trying to leg out a triple.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - We’re only a few weeks into the 2022 MLB season, but the voting booth may have already closed on ‘Throw of the Year’ balloting after what Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson did on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
With two outs in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game between the Cardinals and Mets, New York infielder Luis Guillorme tagged St. Louis pitcher Jake Woodford for a fly ball deep into center field. Carlson struggled to track it down as he made his way back toward the wall, allowing the ball to sail over his head, bouncing off the warning track and then the outfield wall before caroming back toward the field of play.
Given how deep into center field Carlson was situated, Guillorme was thinking three bases all the way, ignoring the adage about whether making the last out of an inning at third base is considered a wise proposition.
Carlson recovered and picked up the baseball with his back foot mere inches from the warning track in center. One crow hop later, the baseball was careening on a collision course with the third-base bag. Edmundo Sosa caught the missile on a fly and applied the tag to Guillorme in time to certify Carlson’s throw as one of the most impressive outfield assists you’re going to see.
Tommy Edman arguably had the best vantage point on the throw of anyone in the ballpark: he was the useless cut-off man who knew he would serve only as window dressing as the ball sailed over his head toward Edmundo Sosa at third base.
“We’re kind of there just for show,” Edman joked. “We’re just lining up because that’s where we’re supposed to be. We might as well have just gone back to the dugout.”
Understandably, Twitter went berserk after witnessing the rocket out of Carlson’s left hand. Statcast measured the throw at a whopping 97.2 mph, which at the time was a higher velocity than any pitch that had been thrown in the game. It also measured as the second-hardest outfield assist by a Cardinal in the Statcast era (since 2015).
Carlson was modest about the play after the game, stating that he was just happy to be able to contribute to a team win, but he did concede that the throw was a moment that ranked up pretty high on his own personal highlight reel.
“Oh, it’s up there, for sure,” Carlson grinned. “I’ve had one similar before but I didn’t have the metrics or anything to prove it. So to do it now with everyone watching is pretty cool.”
Adding insult to injury for Guillorme after his questionable decision to test Carlson’s arm, Carlson victimized him for the second time in a 20-minute span when he rifled a 96.6 mph shot up the middle while batting in the bottom of the sixth. Guillorme was shifted into a perfect position to make the play, but lost his footing and fell backward as the screamer off Carlson’s bat found the webbing of his glove. Carlson reached for a single, his second hit on a day for which he will primarily be remembered for his otherworldly defensive contribution.
The Cardinals defeated the Mets, 10-5.
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