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Tyler O’Neill competes for centerfield - A Hunt and Peck

Will we see him move over there?

Atlanta Braves v St Louis Cardinals
(O’Neill caught this)
Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

A few days ago Blake Newberry went over a few Spring Training storylines in his post aptly titled Early Cardinals Camp Storylines. One of the storylines was about Cardinals leftfielder Tyler O’Neill and his offseason workout routine. According to John Denton of, O’Neill has spent more time conditioning to prepare for the season — and to compete for centerfield.

“My body feels really good, I’m mobile and I’ve got some conditioning under me — more than in previous years — and I got back into heavy lifting this year,” he said. “My body just feels like it’s in a good position.”

As a few of us discussed on the latest podcast episode, the Cardinals have several options for the corner outfield spots, but after the trade of Harrison Bader last season, the centerfield options are not nearly as plentiful. In the past, O’Neill has shown he has been capable of playing centerfield — he makes quick reads on flyballs and has surprising speed for a player of his size. Per Darragh McDonald of MLBTradeRumors:

“I’d love to play center field,” O’Neill said. “I’m not trying to boot anybody away from that position either, but it’s whatever they deem fit. I know they’re very analytically-driven here. I just want to be the best player that I can be. I’ve worked really hard this offseason at increasing my first-step quickness and making sure my legs can be under me. I believe I can definitely play that position if that’s where they want me.”

If he can stay healthy — which for O’Neill might be a big if — the Cardinals might have a lot more flexibility moving their outfielders around, which would be a very good thing to get at bats for their corner outfielders.

A quicker O’Neill chasing center field job |

Tyler O’Neill Targeting Cardinals’ Center Field Job | MLBTradeRumors

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