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2019 Cardinals spring training

Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson tracks the ball during a defensive drill at spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

SAN DIEGO — One of the young players who had the strongest presence at big-league training camp has been selected to represent the Cardinals in a showcase of the future. Outfielder Dylan Carlson, a 20-year-old who was one of the final cuts of spring, and third baseman Nolan Gorman received invitations Friday to the annual Futures Game, held the Sunday before the All-Star Game.

Gorman, 19, is the youngest player selected to the National League team and the second youngest player chosen for the game.

Carlson has hit .280 with a .363 on-base percentage and an .856 OPS for the Cardinals’ Class AA Springfield affiliate. His .493 slugging percentage ranks sixth in the Texas League, and he’s mixed 11 stolen bases with 31 extra-base hits in 70 games for the S-Cards. Impressed by how he handled major-league spring training and eager to see how he could fit into their 2020 plans, the Cardinals assigned Carlson more work in center fielder this season.

Shildt likened the possibility of Carlson improving in center to Harrison Bader making a similar move – from corner outfield to center – in the minors and Paul DeJong shifting from third base to shortstop at Class AA. Each grade out above average at their positions in the majors, and Bader has become an elite defensive center fielder.

“Not a surprise at all,” Shildt said of Carlson’s selection. “Dylan had a tremendous big-league camp. You forget sometimes that he’s 20, as mature as he is.”

Gorman, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2018, moved recently to High-A Palm Beach. After a thunderous start with Low-A Peoria, the top prospect’s production cooled. He has hit .227 with a .455 slugging percentage and a homer in his first six games with the PB Cardinals. Overall this season, his first full season as a pro, Gorman has hit .240 with a .791 OPS and 11 homers to go with 42 RBIs and 87 strikeouts in 263 at-bats.

Also selection for the Futures Game was Brewers’ prospect Devin Williams, a Hazelwood West High grad. Williams, 24, is 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings for Milwaukee’s Class AA affiliate. He’s the Brewers’ lone rep.

EXTRA BASES

While he and his wife await the arrival of their first child, pitcher John Brebbia traveled with the team to San Diego and will continue to be with team until it appears the birth is imminent. The Cardinals will be able to replace the reliever on the active roster for three days when he goes on paternity leave. … Ryan Helsley (shoulder) and Mike Mayers (lat strain) are to throw an inning each Saturday at Class AAA Memphis as they continue their recovery from injuries. Mayers pitched a scoreless inning on six pitches for the Redbirds on Wednesday and averaged 94 mph on his fastball, Shildt said. Helsley had less feel for his fastball, though the velocity was positive. He did not record an out, walked three and allowed four runs. Mayers does not have any minor-league options, so when he’s healthy and sharp he’ll return to the major-league bullpen.

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Derrick Goold is the lead Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and past president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.