How the Cardinals' can save the development of each of their young bats

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals
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Tyler O'Neill

Play every day for the next few months, allow the club to determine if he's "back" or it is time to move on

The next few months are going to be huge for Tyler O'Neill's future with the Cardinals.

St. Louis needs to see what they have in O'Neill. When right, he is a powerful bat in their lineup and an elite defender in left field, and that is something the club will need in their lineup every day if they want to climb out of the hole they have dug themselves.

I know people sometimes have strong feelings against advanced analytics, but I do think the Cardinals are looking at the underlying numbers with O'Neill and see a guy ready to break out in a huge way. His xSLG, xBA, and xwOBA are all in the 77th percentile or above, and things like his Barrel% and HardHit% rank in the 87th and 80th percentiles, respectively.

So all I ask from the Cardinals is that they give him some time to prove if the "expected" numbers are going to be the reality for him, or if they are an anomaly. If we get to the end of May or June and O'Neill isn't hitting like the numbers say he should, then hopefully Jordan Walker or Dylan Carlson are ready to take over for him.

No, there's nothing flashing about a .256/.318/.385 slash line from O'Neill, but I do think we may over-exaggerate how bad it has gone for him to this point. If the Cardinals actually want to unlock his potential, they have to give him some time to prove it, not just a few-game stretch.