2022 Fantasy Baseball: This Year’s Tyler O’Neill

by Connor Thomure
2022 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Tyler O'Neill

Welcome to 2022 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Tyler O'Neill.

O'Neill broke out in 2021 in a very big way that showcased his power and his speed. He belted 34 homers with a slugging percentage of .560 and recorded 15 stolen bases. His slugging percentage ranks seventh among all qualified batters from 2021, while the steals were top-25. His Fantasy Pros consensus ADP this season is 64.8, much better than a season ago when he was drafted well beyond pick 300.

Fans and Fantasy Baseball managers have been waiting to see O'Neill break out since his MLB debut in 2018. That season he hit 9 homers in just 142 plate appearances, but his strikeout rate has been holding him back. His career strikeout rate is a poor 32.5% which places him fifth worst since 2018 among players with at least 950 plate appearances.

This year's Tyler O'Neill is a player that will finally break out after fans and Fantasy Baseball managers were ready to give up on him. A player that Fantasy Baseball managers are drafting after pick 300 but can wind up winning Fantasy Baseball leagues. Heading into the 2023 season Fantasy managers can expect to draft this player in the top-100.

O'Neill was recently featured as the Dynasty Player of the Week on Fantasy Six Pack, be sure to read this for more info on the outfielder.

2022 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Tyler O'Neill

Get prepared for the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season by using the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.

The Candidates

To start, here are three players most likely to follow O'Neill's path to success in 2022. They each have a few points made and afterward, one will be crowned as this year's Tyler O'Neill. Clint Frazier, Keston Hiura, and Willie Calhoun are each going after pick 350 in Fantasy Baseball drafts but have a chance to finally break out after disappointing starts to their career.

Clint Frazier, OF, Chicago Cubs

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This offseason the Chicago Cubs signed Frazier to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. Frazier looks to either fill in an outfield spot or take over designated hitter duties for the Cubs in 2022. Currently, his ADP is 409 and he is basically free in 12-team Fantasy Baseball leagues.

FanGraphs ranked Frazier as the overall 34th MLB prospect and the second-best prospect on the New York Yankees in 2017. He, however, was unable to earn significant playing time with the Yankees due to injuries and a logjammed depth chart. While with the Yankees he slashed .239/.327/.434 in 807 career plate appearances.

Ideally, fantasy managers should hope for 25 homers, 75 RBIs, and 75 runs from the Cubs outfielder this season. This will depend on if he's capable of staying healthy and playing well enough to keep a spot in the lineup, both things he struggled with while in New York.

Keston Hiura, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

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Hiura was the top prospect for the Brewers in 2019 before being called up that season. He had plenty of excitement surrounding him due to his immense power and broke into the MLB in a good way by belting 19 homers and stealing nine bases. He, however, did struggle with strikeouts and recorded a strikeout rate of 30.7%.

After his impressive 2019 campaign, Hiura's numbers have gotten worse each of the previous two seasons. His strikeout rate continued to rise and in 2021 he struck out 39.1% of the time before the Brewers sent him to the minors. Hiura's Fantasy Baseball stock has never been lower, but the Brewers organization thinks he can still be an everyday player.

According to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hiura will begin to see more time in the outfield. This bodes well for Hiura as it shows the team is still backing him and trying to get him playing time. However, the best spot for Hiura could be as the designated hitter due to his below-average defense. His ADP is currently 357.3, but if he can return to 2019 form it will skyrocket in 2023.

Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers

It's easy to forget that Calhoun is a former top-100 prospect and was the Rangers' No. 2 prospect in 2018. His slash line of .247/.301/.414 through 874 plate appearances show him to be a below-average player. Injuries have, however, kept him from competing in a whole season.

Calhoun's biggest tool is his plus power that he showcased in 2019 with 21 homers in just 83 games. Out of the players listed here, his power most closely matches O'Neill's power.

The Rangers have revamped their offense by acquiring Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Mitch Garver. This is huge for a player like Calhoun who can now use the upper-level talent to better himself this season. RotoChamp projects Calhoun to be the leadoff batter for the Rangers in 2022 which will increase his production mightily, especially in the runs category.

Calhoun's current ADP is 399.3 but is a solid pick anywhere in the early to mid 300 range. If he can capitalize on Seager, and Semien coming to town then Calhoun can be a Fantasy Baseball winner in 2022.

Who Is This Year's Tyler O'Neill?

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The 2022 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Tyler O'Neill finalist is Calhoun of the Texas Rangers. He has the best chance of these players to play every day so long as he is healthy. Even though he lacks speed his power tool is better than Hiura or Frazier. His team also improved the most this offseason placing him in a position to succeed this season.

Calhoun is the post-hype player to grab in 2022 Fantasy Baseball drafts, expect his ADP to skyrocket after this season.

Other Players To Consider

It's hard to pick just a few players to highlight so here are a few more that can make the O'Neill leap in 2022. All of these players have received their fair share of Fantasy Baseball hype but have failed to deliver top-tier results yet.

Nick Senzel/Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Cole Tucker, SS/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Sam Hilliard, OF, Colorado Rockies
Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, New York Mets

See where all these players are on the Fantasy Six Pack 2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.

Check out all of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball content from Fantasy Six Pack.

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