St. Louis Cardinals: Which outfielder is most likely to be traded?
I have been a huge fan of Tyler O’Neill since the team traded for him in 2017. He was 22 at the time and is now going to turn 25 during the 2020 season. O’Neill is one of the most physically imposing players the Cardinals have had in a while and his power backs it up.
Four times O’Neill has hit more than 20 homers in a minor league season and in his two years in the MLB, O’Neill has hit 14 homers in just 293 at-bats. Double that for a usual season’s worth of at-bats and O’Neill could easily hit 30+ homers a year.
The problem with O’Neill has always been strikeouts. When he hits it, he can hit it far, but in his two seasons at the MLB, he has had a 35% and 40% strikeout rate, which is never going to fly. As a minor leaguer, his lowest strikeout rate was 23% and the average was in the high 20’s.
While he may strike out a ton, O’Neill has plenty of speed on the basepaths and can hold his own at any outfield spot.
In his only month of regular playing time, July of 2019, O’Neill batted for a .301/.341/.482 slash line with four homers. All I want to see is O’Neill getting a regular chance to show what he can do with the confidence of a manager, but I don’t think it will come.
The team has had plenty of chances to give O’Neill regular time and have passed. He doesn’t seem to be a part of their longterm plans and I could easily see him as the first man out.