St. Louis Cardinals: An update on Tyler O’Neill at AAA

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Tyler O'Neill #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI double against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Tyler O'Neill #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI double against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have one of their young stud power bats at AAA currently after sending him down to get some playing time. How’s he been doing?

Tyler O’Neill has one of if not the best power bats on the entire St. Louis Cardinals team. The young outfielder was sent down to AAA Memphis earlier in the summer after he wasn’t getting enough regular at-bats at the Majors to keep him sharp at the plate.

He was sent down all the way back on May 4th, about two months ago. How has he been doing at Memphis?

Well, the short answer is: exactly how you would’ve hoped he’d do at the Majors.

In 153 total at-bats, O’Neill is batting .248 and slugging .516 with 12 homers and five doubles. The troubling thing about O’Neill is that he is getting on base at less than a .300 level (.297) and has struck out 49 times in his 153 AB’s, a K% of 32%.

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While the total numbers don’t necessarily bode amazingly well for O’Neill, he did have a short stint on the minor league IL with a hamstring issue that kept him out for about two weeks. Since his return to action though, he has been on fire going 6-for-13 with a homer and three RBI’s. Notching three straight multi-hit games, O’Neill has batted .342 in his last 10 with Memphis.

O’Neill’s AAA numbers are somewhat frustrating for a couple of reasons. One, I have written many times betting on O’Neill not only to be an All-Star at the MLB level but to lead the team in homers this year. That’s not going to happen, but if he is going to end up being a star outfielder, he has to show better against lesser competition.

Secondly, O’Neill is the backup plan for the Cardinals right now. He is the reinforcements. The whole reason he was sent down was that the Cardinals wanted to keep him fresh and game ready and not let him rot on the bench as a fourth outfielder. If they need another outfielder, he’s the first man up. If he can’t perform though, it’s another problem with the Cardinals longterm plans.

Next. Let Tommy Edman split time at third base. dark

Tyler O’Neill will be back up at some point this year and hopefully, it’s with regular playing time. The one thing O’Neill has never been given in his career has been regular playing time and the confidence of his manager. Maybe that’s all he needs…

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