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Tyler O'Neill 2021 Outlook


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At the risk of getting sucked in by him again and overvaluing spring performance, he looks better this spring than I've seen him look. He's 10-for-21 with two homers, and both of his homers and a number of other hits have gone to the opposite field. Seems to be staying back and going with the pitch more and using his strength. It's early and the competition isn't the best yet, but at least something to watch.

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  • tonycpsu changed the title to Tyler O'Neill 2021 Outlook

From Cardinals beat reporter Derrick Goold, answering a fan question about O'Neill today during the game:

"He just had another strong at-bat here vs. Scherzer. He took a two-strike curveball to right for a double. He's using the whole field, haven't seen him do that this consistently, this well in any spring or season before. He seems more assured at the plate, shorter swing, in control."

Now 12-for-24 this spring. And he twice tried to swipe a bag after a single today but the batter made contact.

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In his first three seasons (all partial), O'Neill's k% has dropped from 40.1 to 35.1 to 27.4, and his bb% has increased from 4.9 to 6.6 to 9.6. Part of his struggle in 2020 was a ridiculously low babip of .189. O'Neill won't be a high BA guy, regardless of how hot he is so far in ST, but maybe .250-.260 could be within reach -- that's high-end for me, however. Hitting 7th (where RR currently has him) would obviously depress his counting stats. I'd guess with a full season of ABs, he'd probably have ~25 HR and 5-8 SB, but I wouldn't expect much in R-RBI unless he works his way into a better lineup spot. 

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Cards have all their regular starters in today, with O’Neill batting fifth. That alone is more promising, but If he keeps doing what he’s doing, Paul Dejong is all that stands in the way for cleanup.

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38 minutes ago, Hellgrammite said:

Another 3Ks today.  He is still striking out a ton, and now barely taking a walk.  Other than a .550 BABIP, not exactly an impressive spring.

Until today, he wasn't striking out a ton...had 8 K in 31 PAs prior to today. And I think 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 Dbl is impressive in 34 PAs. Yes, he needs to take more walks and K less, but it's been a good spring for him. 

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2 hours ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Pretty sure that Carlson will end up in the 5th spot, unless he struggles again. They are awfully righthanded in that lineup and Carlson breaks them up better.

Carlson has been bouncing all around the lineup.  O'Neill has big power but downright horrid plate discipline, so I could see O'neill hitting 6th or 7th, and Carlson bouncing between 2nd and 6th.  Carlson being a switch hitter is a nice value in that lineup.

Edited by Hellgrammite
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4 hours ago, Hellgrammite said:

Carlson has been bouncing all around the lineup.  O'Neill has big power but downright horrid plate discipline, so I could see O'neill hitting 6th or 7th, and Carlson bouncing between 2nd and 6th.  Carlson being a switch hitter is a nice value in that lineup.

This would be my read as well. Carlson is the future stud for this team by all accounts. I like O'neill a lot though, traded for him recently since the price isn't exactly high. There's a lot to like here if it call clicks.  I'm not worried about his lineup spot at all, if he hits, he'll help your team a lot and move up. 

The issue is certainly the discipline. You kind of have to bet he's figured some stuff out to improve enough to get to that raw power. He can steal a few bags too. He certainly has risk, but I'll take a bet if the price isn't crazy.

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On 3/20/2021 at 10:31 PM, KingJoffrey said:

It's crazy but O'neil has top 10 in MLB sprint speed.  He could steal 20 bases no problem.

Stole his 3r'd base of the spring today. I don't know if he gets to 20, but man, 30-20 is a helluva player for where he's going, and could be a monster in obp/ops leagues.  If he breaks out this year, could be on a lot of winning teams IMO.

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22 minutes ago, brockpapersizer said:

Stole his 3r'd base of the spring today. I don't know if he gets to 20, but man, 30-20 is a helluva player for where he's going, and could be a monster in obp/ops leagues.  If he breaks out this year, could be on a lot of winning teams IMO.

image.png.c6194e2be48ede22c3ca43caa5c9a5b8.png

Clearly quick enough to steal a bunch.

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Been grabbing Tyler as my 5th OF/Util in every league that I can this year. No one wants him so he's available insanely late.

If the adjustments stick from spring then we could have a 25/15 guy. Just needs the Cardinals to move him into a spot to run more?

There are so few sleepers in existence nowadays. This guy definately fits that category.

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The power speed/combo is tantalizing, but the plate discipline and K rate scream AAAA player.   He went undrafted in both leagues I'm in.  I'll be keeping an eye on him to see how he does to start the season but his construct tells me we're looking at a sub .250 hitter that will run into a lot of homers, 10+ SBs, and not a lot else if he's hitting down in the order.   Free swingers like O'Neill tend to struggle at the pro level where they are rarely given a strike to hit.  I hope I'm wrong tho.

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4 minutes ago, dicka24 said:

The power speed/combo is tantalizing, but the plate discipline and K rate scream AAAA player.   He went undrafted in both leagues I'm in.  I'll be keeping an eye on him to see how he does to start the season but his construct tells me we're looking at a sub .250 hitter that will run into a lot of homers, 10+ SBs, and not a lot else if he's hitting down in the order.   Free swingers like O'Neill tend to struggle at the pro level where they are rarely given a strike to hit.  I hope I'm wrong tho.

Players sometimes improve. That's the counter. He's shown some signs of improvement towards the end of last season, this spring, and scouts are taking notice. 

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23 minutes ago, brockpapersizer said:

Players sometimes improve. That's the counter. He's shown some signs of improvement towards the end of last season, this spring, and scouts are taking notice. 

What signs at the end of last season, though? He finished the year on a 2-for-26 slide with 9k, and his avg never hit .200 after August 20. Are the improvements the under-the-hood type? 

Genuinely interested because he’s available in all my leagues. 

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38 minutes ago, brockpapersizer said:

Players sometimes improve. That's the counter. He's shown some signs of improvement towards the end of last season, this spring, and scouts are taking notice. 

He's on my scout team in every league and I'm definitely paying attention.  I considered drafting him but didn't based on other players being more late round flyer worthy.  I will say this, if he mashes early we all better run to pick him up cuz he won't last long on the wire if he hits.

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7 minutes ago, dicka24 said:

He's on my scout team in every league and I'm definitely paying attention.  I considered drafting him but didn't based on other players being more late round flyer worthy.  I will say this, if he mashes early we all better run to pick him up cuz he won't last long on the wire if he hits.

That'll be my approach, he's one of the players I'll be watching their box scores intently for the first few weeks & if he rakes, im jumping on board the hype train 🚂

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His changes probably weren't just late last year, but the whole "year" in general. The power is obviously real so we don't have to look into that much. His K rate in his three years of MLB experience has gone from 40 to 35 to 27, so good there. This spring he's still hovering around 27% K rate. He also has shown the ability to take walks which have also gone in the right direction each year in the majors. I like to look at a guy's first taste of AA(as long as it's age relevant) to get a baseline for what he might do in the majors and he had a 10.8 walk rate/26.1 K rate in 130 games as a 21 year old in AA. It usually takes a little bit of time in the majors to get to that potential(unless you're Soto), and he seems to be progressing to those numbers. The article below shows he had the third best swstrk% improvement from 2019 to 2020 which is another good indicator. I think there's 250/350/500 potential there this year with some speed to boot. There's quite a few other names I like in the article below too. 

 

https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/2020-review-hitter-swstk-improvers/

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31 minutes ago, Flyman75 said:

What signs at the end of last season, though? He finished the year on a 2-for-26 slide with 9k, and his avg never hit .200 after August 20. Are the improvements the under-the-hood type? 

Genuinely interested because he’s available in all my leagues. 

Some scout take on Baseball America said he was hitting the ball with power to opposite field more last off season and this spring and hitting breaking balls better. I've seen him on enough breakout lists.  It feels right to me, don't know how to quantify it based on a weird 2020 season and 2019 where he didn't play every day. I've always liked him and I think he can put it together this season, and I think the upside is quite decent factoring in some steals.

I am very largely throwing out anything in 2020  stat-wise when I feel like it, and I feel like it with Tyler. Might be dumb. To be fair, I don't think there's anyone I've been touting because of their 2020 good season. Feel like some guys who had a great 2020 out of their norms are going to high in drafts. 

Edited by brockpapersizer
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O'Neill and Jared Walsh seem like very similar profiles to me, but one is younger with SB potential, while the other is being drafted 150 spots earlier. Different positions but I don't see much of a difference other than Walsh had a hot 24 games to end 2020.

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7 minutes ago, mavsfan23 said:

O'Neill and Jared Walsh seem like very similar profiles to me, but one is younger with SB potential, while the other is being drafted 150 spots earlier. Different positions but I don't see much of a difference other than Walsh had a hot 24 games to end 2020.

And I’m sure that’s the difference...we saw Walsh do it against MLB pitching, as short as it might have been. 

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44 minutes ago, Flyman75 said:

What signs at the end of last season, though? He finished the year on a 2-for-26 slide with 9k, and his avg never hit .200 after August 20. Are the improvements the under-the-hood type? 

Genuinely interested because he’s available in all my leagues. 

Cardinals beat writers continue to praise his work this spring, that he's letting the ball get deeper and hitting it the other way if that's what he's given. With his strength, that's translated into a number of extra base hits the other way, and a couple homers. He's also looked more aggressive on the basepaths and has earned the fifth spot in the batting order to start out, an improvement on where they used to slot him. He still strikes out too much and I don't know if his improvements will translate to the regular season, but I've seen enough to make him an end-game flier (who has little-to-no leash if he hits .190 with a 30+ K rate the first few weeks).

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2 hours ago, Caelum said:

Cardinals beat writers continue to praise his work this spring, that he's letting the ball get deeper and hitting it the other way if that's what he's given. With his strength, that's translated into a number of extra base hits the other way, and a couple homers. He's also looked more aggressive on the basepaths and has earned the fifth spot in the batting order to start out, an improvement on where they used to slot him. He still strikes out too much and I don't know if his improvements will translate to the regular season, but I've seen enough to make him an end-game flier (who has little-to-no leash if he hits .190 with a 30+ K rate the first few weeks).

If that’s true and Tyler can start laying off/hitting breaking balls better... look out because he is breaking out this year. That’s been his biggest flaw in his game to date. I touted him last year early on because he looked so much better against breaking pitches in the beginning of the season. Can’t remember exactly what happened (maybe injury?) but it never amounted to much thereafter. If he’s taking the ball the other way and recognizing breaking balls more effectively I’m calling this as his breakout year. Massive power/speed potential, plus with a gold glove last year and with Fowler gone and Bader hurt to start the year, he has essentially no competition or worry for playing time. 
Choo choo!

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