O’Neill is another young player (24 years old) with just over a year of big league experience. He’s a right-handed outfielder with a bunch of power who strikes out a ton, which draws a lot of comparisons to Joey Gallo. Per Statcast, as a hitter he also profiles fairly closely to Eric Thames.
In 2018, he posted a 116 wRC+ in 142 PAs, but that dropped to 91 in 2019 in 151 PAs. While that’s a big drop, his wRC+ would still have ranked fifth among all Rockies hitters with at least 100 PAs (just above Ryan McMahon at 88). He accumulated 1.3 fWAR in 2019 and sat right at 0.0 in 2019.
He hits the ball very hard and at a pretty high clip (46.6%). His Soft/Medium/Hard Hit line in 2019 was 17.0%/36.4%/46.6%, which reads fairly similar to Chris Iannetta in 2019 (14.3%/38.5%/47.3%). He had a HR/FB% of 25.0% in 2018 but that dropped to 14.3% in 2019.
His BABIP is pretty high as well (.386 in 2019), which is to be expected for a guy who hits for a ton of power and has great sprint speed.
As a fielder, O’Neill had a pretty good 2018 but struggled a lot more in 2019. His UZR/150 in 2018 was 24.1, which easily would’ve made him the best outfielder for the Rockies in 2019. However, in 2019 his UZR/150 dropped to -10.3. That’s only slightly better that Charlie Blackmon‘s 2019 (-10.7) and much has been made of Blackmon’s defensive struggles.
In terms of Future Value, O’Neill is rated at a 50. FanGraphs projects him to have a wRC+ of 94 and an fWAR between 0.7 and 0.9 (dependent on their projection methods).
He would certainly be an interesting player at Coors and his homers would surely get fans out of their seats. But does he fill a need? A consistently reported need for the Rockies is a young outfielder, but there’s already a logjam with Sam Hilliard, Raimel Tapia and Garrett Hampson likely to compete for time in the outfield. That’s without considering the time that Ian Desmond is likely to take alongside Dahl and Blackmon. Adding another bat may complicate things more. But if the Rockies view it as a need then this go big or go home type prospect would certainly be quite the mix of interesting and frustrating.