Prior to you reading the rest of the article, I would like to let you know that this is where my projection system can also be a bit iffy. I wrote about how if a player simply hasn't played much in the upper levels of the minors how his projection could get quite skewed. Well, today I'll be writing about Tyler O'Neill (and Giovanny Gallegos), who have spent time completely excelling statistically at the upper level of the minors. This may end up skewing their projections a bit higher than they will accomplish in their actual 2019 MLB season.
Tyler O’Neill has done everything he needs to do at every level at which he has played to be given a lengthy look this spring as a starter in both left field and right field. I mean, in the last two years at the AAA and MLB levels, he has mashed 66 home runs in 972 plate appearances. That’s one homer every 14.7 times to the plate. Keep in mind, he did this while being jerked around and not playing very often this past season in comparison to 2017 - OHHHHH, and he hit a HR every 11.9 PAs this year.
O’Neill also improved at the AAA level from year over year. Take a look at these stats:
O’Neill got significantly better year over year at the AAA level. His average, OBP, and SLG went up significantly (thus his ISO getting much better). His BB% went up while his K% went down. His extra base rate increased by 46% over 2017 last year. The last column shows the percent of his plate appearances in which he either scored a run or drove in a runner. That number also increased by 42%.
He also played at the major league level in 2018 and held his own despite starting infrequently. My projections actually like O’Neill to slightly improve upon his .800 OPS from a year ago.
Here is what my system has for Tyler O’Neill’s 2019 projection:
In only 415 PA
63 runs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 24 homers, 72 RBI
29.64% K rate, 8.92% BB rate, 8 SB, 2 CS
I mean, if he does that and only gets 415 PA, then I will have as "good" of words to write about Mike Shildt as I did Mike Matheny. Over 600 PA, that third line up there equates to over 90 runs, 24/3/34 on the XBH, and over 100 RBI. He’s the #4 hitter we’ve been waiting for at that rate.
Those numbers compare favorably to any and all outfield positions over the last 5 years.
I have no idea where he’ll bat in the lineup, or even if he’ll be in the lineup, but here’s how he stacks up against #4 hitters league-wide the last 5 years:
Yeah, O’Neill with those numbers above can hack it quite well.
What can be pointed out to show that things CAN be better than that?!?
Look at the improvement he made year over year at the AAA level. That’s the only level that he’s repeated at all in the minors, until this coming season when he gets to play in a second season at the major league level.
How/If things go wrong:
O’Neill strikes out...a lot. Even my projection for him has nearly a 30% K rate. Now, if he walks 9% of the time and he hits an extra base hit 10.4% of the time and drives in or scores a run 27% of the time then he will be able to afford to swing and miss often. If he doesn’t...a 30% K rate does not bode well. That would be the reason he would not be playing more than 415 PA in this scenario.