Baseball America dropped their Midseason Top 100 Prospects list this morning and coming in at No. 45 is Seattle Mariners OF Tyler O'Neill. It's a big jump for the 21-year-old O'Neill, who wasn't on the Top 100 Prospects list Baseball America released back in February. BA had this to say about the Mariners' lone representative:
The British Columbia bomber makes up for lack of height with premium bat speed and strength, and he’s making more contact too.
While O'Neill has flashed immense raw power at the plate from the moment the Mariners selected him in the third round in 2013, it wasn't until about this time last year when he returned from the 2015 Pan American Games and started to look like a dangerous, well-rounded hitter. He has carried those changes with him into 2016, where he has slashed .303/.369/.532 with a 156 wRC+ and a .229 ISO with Double-A Jackson.
Perhaps the most encouraging parts of O'Neill's season are his improving strikeout and walk rates despite the significant talent jump between High-A and Double-A ball. Both numbers (9.1% walk-rate, 24.1% k-rate) are the best he's posted since his time in rookie ball back in 2013. From being more selective at the plate to an improvement in identifying pitches, there are so many reasons to be excited about Tyler O'Neill at the moment. Also he is doing stuff like this:
And while it appears that the Mariners are taking things slow with the young prospect, a trip to Tacoma before the year ends could be in play in order to gather more information on him before (presumably) giving him a long look in Spring Training next year.
You can catch O'Neill, along with teammate Dylan Unsworth, on the World roster for the 2016 Futures Game on Sunday, July 10th. And in case you're trying to think up a neat nickname for the slugger, don't worry, it's already taken care of:
@EthanNovak Way ahead of you. Been calling him Popeye personified since he got here.— Brandon Liebhaber (@B_Liebhaber) June 25, 2016
#squad pic.twitter.com/HP6t0SQwfa— Dylan Unsworth (@dylansharkie) June 22, 2016