Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet A Prospect: Michael O'Niell

Michael Aaron O'Niell, the nephew of former Yankees player and YES Network color commentator Paul O'Niell, was born on June,12 1992 in Powell, Ohio to Mike and Sandy O'Niell. Michael spent his time at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio and spent his college years at the University of Michigan. O'Niell stands 6'1" and weighs 195 lbs and is in his age 21 season heading into 2014. The Yankees drafted O'Niell in the third round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft out of Michigan marking this as the second time the Yankees drafted O'Niell in the draft, the first time in the 42nd round of the 2010 draft out of High School. O'Niell signed a contract with the Yankees after being drafted and is now playing outfield for the Staten island Yankees in the New York Penn League.

O'Niell bats and throws right handed and as I said is an outfielder by trade playing in left field and center field as recent as this season. O'Niell had various accolades in his college baseball career including being named as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All American, he is fourth on Michigan's stolen base list, many player of the week awards, many All American team nominations, and was named the Big Ten prospect to watch before the 2013 season.

O'Niell made his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2013 and finished the season appearing in 64 games and 281 plate appearances. Michael put up a slash line of .219/.282/.293/.575 which is probably not what he had in mind but at a more advanced level then some draft picks, like Gosuke Katoh and Eric Jagielo for instance,  and should be fine heading into 2014. O'Niell hit 17 doubles, one triple, and knocked in 14 RBI's for the Staten Island Yankees but was a cause for concern on the base paths stealing nine bases and being caught seven times. The fact that O'Niell also had 93 strike outs in 64 games and only drew 14 walks is another valid cause for concern but I do not put much stock into these first half seasons after the draft, for better or for worse. O'Niell will be fine and has plenty of time, seasoning, and development ahead of him and I look forward to watching him grow in a Yankees uniform.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)