When the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Tyler O’Neill from the Mariners, we knew he had power. Now, he is getting a chance to showcase that at the MLB level.
That power is coming through in a big way so far, even with a stint on the disabled list. Things are looking up for the St. Louis Cardinals top hitting prospect. Tyler O’Neill’s best tool is being confirmed on the big stage.
It took awhile for the promotion. However, the trading of Tommy Pham, and the injury to Dexter Fowler, has opened the door for O’Neill to get his shot. As expected, that means some offensive fireworks.
Among The Ranks
O’Neill is finding himself in good company thanks to his power. Through his first 35 games, he hit six long balls. That ties him with Aledmys Diaz and Johnny Mize for fifth most in Cardinal history in that span of time, according to the teams Twitter account. In case you are wondering who is in first, it is Albert Pujols with 12.
The plus power that O’Neill has been graded with is for a reason. In 64 games with Memphis this season, he slugged 26 homers. This was his follow up to a 31 total homerun season in 2017 across both organizations he played for. That is not all, he was hitting for a fantastic .311 batting average prior to his promotion.
For his minors career, he has nearly 130 bombs. The power is clear. O’Neill has filled out his 5’11” frame quite well.
There is no doubt the long ball will always be a part of O’Neill’s game. The other parts of his offensive approach might signal something else. His early performance, and small sample size, shows a 3.4 percent walk rate and a strikeout rate at a few ticks under 40 percent. But, again, it is a very small sample size at the beginning of the career.
The advanced numbers show a more well rounded player. O’Neill’s offensive value of 2.9 is nearly matched by his two runs saved on the defensive side of the ball. He is posting an above average wRC+ of 115 with his limited time.
This is a prospect with a very high ceiling. O’Neill is 23 and already showing us why he is so highly touted with a bat in his hands. The energy and excitement being brought by the young slugger is helping lead the St. Louis Cardinals into October.