M's Get Controllable Starter In Marco Gonzales For Tyler O'Neill
The move comes a day after the Mariners traded four prospects to the Marlins for righthanded reliever David Phelps. O’Neill becomes the latest in a long line of top Mariners prospects traded by general manager Jerry Dipoto in the past year, joining Luiz Gohara, Brayan Hernandez, Alex Jackson, Drew Jackson, Zack Littell, Ryan Yarbrough and Brandon Miller, among others.
Gonzales is a former top prospect himself and a Gonzaga product who returns to the state he went to college in.
|MARINERS ACQUIRE Marco Gonzales, lhp Age: 25|
Gonzales was the Cardinals' No. 1 prospect in 2014 and made his big league debut that year, but injuries have limited him to two big league appearances in the past three seasons. He had Tommy John surgery that wiped out all of 2016 and only returned to the mound in May of this year at Triple-A Memphis. Gonzales primarily relies on his 90-91 mph with his fastball with sink and mixes in a mid-80s changeup and low-80s curveball. He does not generate many swings and misses and fits a back-end starter/long relief profile if he can remain healthy.
|CARDINALS ACQUIRE Tyler O'Neill, of Age: 22|
O’Neill is the son of former Mr. Canada bodybuilder Terry O’Neill and is one of the most chiseled players in the minors despite standing just 5-foot-11. With his enormous strength and lightning-quick bat speed, O’Neill hits home runs that are the stuff of legend in scouts’ tales, including balls to right center that are usually seen hit by a lefthanded pull-power hitter rather than a righthanded hitter. O’Neill has alternately been able to get to that power and fallen out of sorts with it. The steepness of his uphill swing path got him in trouble at Triple-A this year and his penchant for chasing sliders out of the zone rears its ugly head at times. He recently adjusted and stopped chasing spin and the results have been exceptional, with 13 home runs in his past 24 games and a .326/.413/.779 slash line. O’Neill has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order slugger as long as he keeps his pitch selection and plate discipline sharp, which is not a given. He reads balls off the bat better in right field than left, but is an average defender with an above-average arm capable of playing both.
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