2020 Projections Series - Tyler O'Neill


Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.


Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Tyler O'Neill's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.

Tyler O'Neill MAJOR league stats

Tyler O'Neill MINOR league stats

The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.


2019

151 PA - .262/.311/.411/.723

6 doubles, 0 triples, 5 homers

18 runs, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS


This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.

THE GOOD

(best case)

440 PA - .278/.346/.550/.897

18 doubles, 2 triples, 29 homers

75 runs, 78 RBI, 8 SB, 1 CS


Now this is 29 homers in just 440 PA. Project that out to a 650 PA season (assuming both health and starting all year) and you’ve got yourself a 40+ HR guy! No wonder I like his potential, seeing these projections.


THE BAD

(worst case)

364 PA - .227/.288/.432/.720

11 doubles, 1 triples, 18 homers

51 runs, 53 RBI, 5 SB, 1 CS


So this would NOT be good for the slugger. This is definitely not expected. However, if he’s only getting 364 PA next year - or even less like he has the last two, then I don’t see how he avoids this. He is not a good 4th or 5th OF type. Despite his above average defense and elite speed, he’s just NOT that kind of hitter. He needs reps with his lower contact ability to stay more “on it.” Trade him and get a freakin’ haul or play the kid.


THE CERUTTI

(my system projection)

400 PA - .252/.318/.500/.818

15 doubles, 1 triple, 24 homers

62 runs, 64 RBI, 6 SB, 1 CS

Tyler O’Neill is one of my favorites to hope gets more playing time than he has already. My projections have led me to like him far more than a seemingly large contingent of the fan base. I want to make clear that my personal feelings on O’Neill in the outfield are not able to be entered into my projections even if I wanted them to be (hint: I don’t). They are objective. In fact, just check out what he does when he makes contact!


Tyler O’Neill finally got to start for an entire month, uninterrupted, in July 2019. In that month, he started 21 games and hit .301/.341/.482/.823 with 10 runs, 12 RBI, and 7 xbh and a steal. Now, those numbers don’t really seem like O’Neill completely to me. I don’t think he’s going to be under a .200 ISO over a full season of playing time just as I don’t think he’ll be over a .300 average over a full season of playing time either.


Here are two other interesting notes on O’Neill when he was starting every day. His whiff rate (swinging strikes per swing) went from a completely unsustainable (as a starter) 51.85% to a not-great-but-manageable 35.82%. That 35.82% is lower than Aaron Judge’s career totals and MUCH LOWER than Joey Gallo’s career 42.85%, FYI. Gallo even had a 41.73% last year when he absolutely raked. O’Neill also lowered his strikeout rate to just 25.0% over his month starting.


In any case, Tyler O'Neill having about the same OPS as I told you yesterday that Matt Carpenter would have (.800-.825) but being a SLG heavy version of it is the reason that I think he could be the slugging cleanup hitter we wished Marcell Ozuna was the last couple of years and allow Carpenter to hit somewhere else in the top 5, rather than being the cleanup hitter behind Goldschmidt.


Link back to all of my projections.