O’Neill clearly struggled this season, as strikeouts (27.4%) and poor luck combined for the pitiful average. He wasn’t swinging for the fences (41.2% flyball rate), but he also wasn’t hitting the ball overly hard (33.0% Hard%). Interestingly he actually improved his Whiff% against all types of pitches:
- Hard – 13.21%
- Offspeed – 14.63%
- Breaking – 18.25%
It’s fair to assume that with more experience he’ll hit the ball harder more consistently, and with that an explosion could happen. We’ll go into more detail later in the offseason, but he’s an ideal sleeper to target.
It was an absolutely dismal season for Polanco, but some of the underlying metrics all point towards better results:
- Hard% – 47.4%
- Flyball Rate – 46.3%
- Oppo% – 20.0%
- SwStr% – 20.9%
Obviously we’d like to see him cut down on the swings and misses and be more willing to use the entire field. We’ve seen better results before, however, and a healthy Polanco could turn things around.
Schwarber, who has always been known for his power, did slug 11 HR while showing a good command of the strike zone (11.2% SwStr%) and hitting the ball hard (40.8% Hard%). While he was a bit too pull heavy (19.2% Oppo%), that’s not enough of a reason. Schwarber should be able to turn things around.
Everyone always points towards his defense as an issue, but he also struggled with his strikeout rate (13.8% SwStr%) and was pull heavy (19.6% Oppo%). If he’s not hitting he’s going to lose AB considering his defensive issues, and that’s not a good thing. He has too high of an upside to ignore, but there’s a lot of risk moving forward.