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This Year's Tyler O'Neill Will Be.....

Ronald Acuna Jr. - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Betting Picks

In 2021, Tyler O'Neill had a very solid first half of the season, batting .275 with 15 home runs, seven steals, 37 RBI, and 38 runs scored. Most fantasy baseball players that have him remember his September/October where he hit .328 with 13 home runs, five steals, 30 RBI, and 31 runs scored in those 32 games played. It's pretty amazing that 13 of his 34 home runs, 30 of his 80 RBI, 31 out of his 89 runs scored, and five out of his 15 steals all came in the last month of the season.

That is more than one-third of a season's worth of production just in one month. Those that had him on their roster got a nice offensive boost in the standings from his production over that stretch.

We are now past the halfway point in the season and the question on people's minds is... who will this year's Tyler O'Neill be?

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Fernando Tatis Jr.?

Fernando Tatis Jr. does not have a clear return date from his broken wrist. In 2021, Tatis was second in the league in barrels per plate appearance. In June of 2021, he hit 10 home runs and stole four bases while batting .300. In May of 2021, he hit nine home runs and stole eight bases while batting .353. He is capable of putting up those Tyler O'Neill types of numbers in a short span.

If he were 100% healthy, I would not fall out of my chair if he had a September with double-digit home runs and five or more steals. The big question mark for Tatis, however, is his health. Wrist injuries are not conducive to hitting home runs, and we may not see the Fernando Tatis Jr. we are used to seeing until 2023 even if he does play this year.

 

Ryan Mountcastle?

Ryan Mountcastle is ninth in barrels per plate appearance but is 41st in home runs with 14. Camden Yards is destroying his power.

If he played all his games in Cincinnati, Statcast says he would have 23 home runs this season. In fact, 19 other ballparks would have him with more home runs than he currently has, while six would have him with less, and the rest would have him with 14 home runs.

Now Mountcastle does not have the stolen base upside that an O'Neill has, but if looking for someone in the second half that could have some power regression in a positive direction, Mountcastle is that guy. If he put together a 10 home run month, I wouldn't be shocked.

 

Jazz Chisholm Jr.?

Jazz Chisholm is hurt and has not played in nearly a month. He has a back injury, which is never a good sign for someone we are hoping to hit home runs and steal a bunch of bases. He is 10th in barrels per plate appearance and also sits at 14 home runs like Ryan Mountcastle, but obviously has done it in less games.

In 24 games in June, the batting average was low, .225, but he had seven home runs and five steals in 24 games played. He won't have high RBI numbers, due to where he bats in the order, but he could end the season with very respectable home run, steal, and runs scored numbers even with missing a month of the season because he is capable of getting hot for a month.

Similar to Tatis, it is not easy to make a bet on someone who is hurt. But also like Tatis, if you have him on your roster, you are going to put him in your lineup when healthy anyway.

 

Ronald Acuna Jr.?

Ronald Acuna is batting .265 with eight home runs and 20 stolen bases. He also has 22 RBI and 38 runs scored. While his stolen bases have been consistent, the power has not been. He has a .148 ISO this season after posting a .313 ISO in 82 games in 2021, a .331 ISO in 46 games in 2020, and a .238 ISO in 156 games in 2019.

Remember, this is a guy who has hit 41 home runs in a season before! Compared to that, his numbers are somewhat disappointing but not completely shocking coming back from an ACL tear. In 2018, Acuna had 11 home runs, 25 runs, 21 RBI, and six steals while batting .336 in August.

In August of 2019, he had 11 home runs, 23 runs, 27 RBI, and six steals while batting .270. In Sept/Oct of 2020, he had nine home runs, 30 runs, 19 RBI, and six steals but batted just .235.

In seasons where he has had a chance to play in August, September, and October, he has put up a "Tyler O'Neill" type of a month in each of those seasons. Does that guarantee that he will do the same thing in 2022? No. But the stolen bases are there, he is 27th in barrels per plate appearance -- better than Juan Soto, Matt Chapman, Corey Seager, and C.J. Cron. More power should be coming at some point.



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