As we enter our Top 5 Mariners Prospects, we find our pre-season #2 prospect. A combination of added talent and a slow start have knocked Tyler O’Neill down a few spots, but the young outfielder still should have Mariners fans excited about his future.
Tyler O’Neill, a 2013 3rd round pick, burst onto the scene with a fantastic second half in Advanced A Ball in 2015, and carried it into the 2016. We won the Southern League Triple Crown in 2016, as well as the leagues MVP honors. The Mariners rewarded him with a promotion to AAA Tacoma to begin the year.
After a disastrous starts, in which he slashed .174/.258/.349, O’Neill has slowly pulled himself out of his slump. While his overall line of .238/.324/.444 isn’t good enough, he has returned to himself the last 35 games. He is slashing .269/.371/.531 over that time, with 9 homers and 7 doubles.
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fO’Neill has a solid tool belt from which to work with. His approach has approved every year since 2014, and he is currently on pace to set a new career high in walks for the 4th consecutive season. Despite a high percentage of swing and miss, O’Neill has the ability to hit for a solid average, thanks to his solid approach and ability to hit to all fields.
O’Neill’s standout tool is his prodigious power. He can peeper the bleachers with baseballs during batting practice. But unlike some “BP Heroes”, O’Neill’s power translates to the game. Most young power bats focus on trying to pull everything, and, on occasion, O’Neill falls into this trap. But he has legitimate power to all fields, and has 30 HR thunder in the stick.
A former catcher, O’Neill poses a strong arm that fits a standard right field profile. While he is not a gold glove caliber defender, he takes good routes and should be a solid average outfielder. And despite what is, at best, average speed, O’Neill is a solid base-runner. He picks his spots well, and is a career 44 for 57 in stolen base attempts.
Whether O’Neill plays for the Mariners or is a traded for pitching help, likely is decided by the big teams performance the next two weeks. Overall; O’Neill profiles as a solid .260/.340/.450 bat with 25-30 HR potential with 7-10 steals to boot.