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All Star Futures Game Baseball

Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson, a switch-hitter, lines an RBI single in the MLB All-Star Futures Game on July 7 in Cleveland. (AP Photo)

QUESTION: Can Dylan Carlson be a Carlos Beltran level of player?

GOOLD: Speaking of Beltran ... Before I answer this question let me first say that Carlos Beltran is one of the best players I've ever seen in person. Whether it was dusting the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS in the 'anything he can do I can do better' duel between him and Albert Pujols, or what he did later with the Mets as a should-have-been MVP. or what he did later in his career as a Cardinal. Superb player. Truly. Rare five-tool excellence.

Let's not put that kind of expectations on a young player, not even as his ceiling. I'm hesitant always to compare a prospect to a Hall of Famer.

I will offer you this -- to borrow from a baseball official we all talk with often -- Dylan Carlson will be a No. 2 hitter for a contending club. He has that talent, that ability.