Tyler O'Neill
I yam what I yam, Dept.


Jason Churchill puts O'Neill number one (!) on his prospects list.  Exec Sum:

  • Is only 6 months older than Alex Jackson, but played MUCH better TWO levels higher
  • Effortless plus-plus PWR based on elbows down, not on a swing from the caboose
  • Athletic, fast (= potential good defender in corner OF)
  • Would be able to hit in the Middle Of The Order (MOTO) with a .250-.260 average
  • Needs to progress in the attitude of patience, as opposed to progressing in hand-eye coordination


Gutsy call, putting O'Neill first.  Good on yer, selling long on yer own judgment rather than re-boxing the consensus for us.

OK, James' rule is that you're a Grade A prospect if you dominate AAA at 22, and AA at 21, and high-A at 20.  Did O'Neill do any of these?  Well, he batted .260/.316/.558 in high-A at age 19.  It's a matter of taste whether you consider that "ripping up" high-A, blasting 32 homers but laboring through a 29:137 EYE ratio.  Dr. D looks at EYE before anything, so...


Here is a site that lists historic California League stats.  Other 19-22 year-olds who slugged .500-and-plenty with ghastly EYE ratios there:

2010:  Paul Goldschmidt age 22, Rich Poythress age 22, Grant Green age 22 ... Johermyn Chavez, age 20.

2009:  Coby Clemens age 22, Joe Dunigan age 22, Carlos Peguero age 22... Scott Van Slyke age 22, though his EYE was 1:2.

2008:  Chris Carter age 21, Carlos Santana age 21, Mark Trumbo age 22...

You can click around yerself for a while and let me know.  At a first go-round it doesn't look to me like a whole lot of 19-year-olds had Cali League slugging averages of .566.  So, that's kewl.  On the other hand, few of the above players had EYE ratios as bad as O'Neill did.  You've got a young air conditioner here with special PWR talent and a fair number of days on which he was overmatched.


Here's a vid of O'Neill's batting practice.  Indeed the dude has got Popeye forearms and a quiet lower body.  And here's his 28th homer last year.  Have to grant Jason's assertion that it starts with his hands, wrists and forearms.

O'Neill slugged .733 in 30 AB's at the Arizona Fall League.  No matter what they tell ya, that's better than slugging .161 with 0 walks and 12 whiffs like some a' those guys did.  When DiPoto speaks of buy-in on plate discipline, Tyler O'Neill's name has to go top of the list.  He goes first, and the other minor leaguers' names, behind his.  Remind us to check O'Neill's EYE at midseason, wouldja.

MLB Hall of Fame prototypes who were exaggeratedly wrist hitters:  Edgar Martinez, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Jim Rice.


Dr D



The funny thing is that he's so short to the ball so he SHOULD be able to survive by taking a long look at the pitch.  It would be interesting to know if his    K-rate was fueled by wild swipes at every kind of pitch, or if he mostly whiffed at the bendy stuff.

I will admit that I almost completely discount Slugging stats in the Cal League.  But he also hit 13 homeruns in Clinton in 57 '14 games.  There he was a true 19 year old (as he was 20 for much of the summer in HD).

That is a pretty impressive homer video.  Short and easy and "Boom!"

C'mon kid...get an eye!


I'm not crazy about the floppy bat waggle load. How many guys have been successful with something like that? (Other than Vlad).


I'm with you did,

I don't like that kind of waggle as part of an actual swing.  But I think our kid uses it more as a pre-swing thing, sometimes WAY before the swing, than as part of the actual cut.  He certainly does that in the homer video and in many of the BP swings he doesn't use it at all.

In this clip from HS it was a major part of his actual cut, he started the bat from the waggled position.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT0jNxLVot0

It existed in some form here in '13, as well:  


It looks (to me) like he's reduced the waggle and uses it more as a pre-swing key now.  

GLS's picture

It looks like his upper body is moving as the pitch is being delivered. That's got to have an impact on his EYE, wouldn't you think? 

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