Going Wonk-ers for Tyler O'Neill
the weekly wonk, Dept.


With a donut-box full of Stars pastry one cubicle to your left, here is a complementary (and complimentary, too) carafe of Scrubs java to go with.  

... Hardball Times just put up a very wonk-able study on minor league power and how it translates to MLB power.  CLICK THIS LINK.  Exec Sum:  you can probably be more confident than you thought you could, if you want to use a player's AAA or AA fly ball distance --- > project big league homers out of it.

In particular, guys in AA (double-AA, not triple-AAA) who could hit the ball out of an airport's chain link perimeter have been turning out to be Paul Goldschmidt.  Sez HBT about this chart rat cheer:


Either way, the names at the far right are very interesting: Soler, Baez, Harper, Springer, J.D. Martinez, Bryant, Santana, Schwarber and Goldschmidt, sprinkled in with Schebler, Parrino, Flaherty and Olt. Putting aside the objective R2 numbers and lookingthis qualitatively, the success of the players at the top end of the distance spectrum is hard to ignore.


It's very easy to imagine Jerry Dipoto, one year ago, looking at *internal charts like that one* and announcing "all Tyler O'Neill has to do is stop fishing."


As a completely separate issue, when you take the youngest guys who hit the ball far far far in AA you've really got something.  And so HBT picked Tyler O'Neill as one of about 4 names to single out for glorification.


How does one take one's JAW to the gym? is what we wanna know
How does one take one's JAW to the gym? is what we wanna know


Here is a different link, to go with your second cuppa, that gives its "beloved" O'Neill a top-25 ranking in the KATOH projection system.





Still think it is around June 1.

Unless he lays waste to the 'Zona desert in ST.  

Taro's picture

Huge non-believer in O'Neill.

The ability to quickly decipher a pitch in a fraction of second is THE most important 'hitting tool' for a prospect to have. O'Neill does not have it.

Cash him in while his trade value is high.


To see if his eye continues to improve.  The distance he seems to have to go has me thinking more like August over/under but let's not quibble over 2 months.  If he's treating the pitchers in spring like he just did in the same state last month it could be 2 months before your time line,  Moe.  Repeating the .880 OPS from his season but with 12BB/22K in 84 PA? (AB+BB...no PA listing in AFL stat page) is 15%/26%.  The BB rate rising makes the Ks more livable.  Maybe the walks come back down a bit though?  Maybe both rates come down a bit.  They may be lower anyway if I'm missing sacrifices, HBP and such.

I don't think he's done progressing at 21 or with this coaching staff.  He likely hasn't worked much with Edgar or Brosius yet.  It's up to him just like it was and is up to Zunino who had worse contact issues and showed strong signs for awhile this year.  A couple people kept reminding everyone that he was only 21 as well.  22, 23...well, hopefully it doesn't take that long. 

While we're on the subject, I've only heard 1 claim that his defense is bad for a corner, the rest have suggested average to plus.

Our aversion to believing that Seattle prospects can break through the wall are based on different prospects under largely different management and coaching.  I get the history.  Try out the recent history of prospects panning out vs. Ms prospects panning out.  Are we due yet?  I was talking recently about Haniger being similar to O'Neill except 600 more PA and 10% less K rate or so.  It's easier to believe in Haniger but we don't have to pick 1, rush or give up on O'Neill.  There's too little data for me to answer that problem.

All that said he's in about the same place for me that Walker was and as soon as he was gone it wasn't difficult to be happy with the move.  I'm pulling for him while he's here but if he was traded I'd just hope to be as happy with the return.  Not saying he's as valuable just that my faith is nearly the same for either putting it together.  Certainly a little higher for Walker. 


Thanks Wish,

I checked out those AFL rates, too.  SSS, but not discouraging.

Here's what I really like about him:  The K rate drops and the BB rate climbs.  He has huge EASY power.  He's not swinging  out of his shoes.  That's important, because even if he gears down to get his contact rate up a bit, he still lauches it out of Jellystone Park.  He's confident and easy, but doesn't seem to be a cocky jerk.  He's just 21.

AT 19, 20 and 21, Michael Saunders (another Canadian dude) K'ed a consistent 23-24%.  It's the 24% at Age 21 (10% BB) that gets very similar to O'Neill.  I'm not (too) worried about O'Neill K'ing 30% of the time at 20....as long as he continues to drop that rate.

That's why ST and his first 40-50 AAA games will be a bit telling.  I think that is exactly where DiPoto stands. Give him a bit of Edgar magic and stand back.


It did take him a while to quit flailing...but you'll remember he came up with one of the loopiest swings in history.  Miller Barber, Mr. X on the PGA tour of the 60's and 70's had less loop.  Which is saying a ton.  So the K Rate drop in Saunders mostly occured when his swing simplified.  

Tank has already lost the wiggle that he had.  His swing is pretty simple and still:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMOrixPsKNw


Simplified and his K rate dropped by 5% and his BB rate went up.  In year one.

Not bad, that.

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