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Friday, June 7, 2013
Yankees draft Paul O'Neill's nephew

By Mike Mazzeo

Michael O'Neill
Michael O'Neill
The Yankees selected Michigan outfielder Michael O'Neill with the 103rd overall pick in the third round of the MLB draft on Friday.

Last name sound familiar?

Michael’s uncle, Paul, used to play right field for the Yankees, and certainly became a fan favorite. Now Paul’s nephew gets an opportunity to follow in his footsteps.

Here’s Keith Law’s thoughts on Michael O’Neill, whom he ranked 78th in his top-100 prospects list:

The nephew of longtime dugout-smasher Paul O'Neill, Michael is an athletic outfielder with some hand and wrist strength at the plate but who might not have enough power to profile as a regular if he ends up in left field. O'Neill's swing is direct and linear, with late hip rotation that won't produce much power, instead producing groundballs and line drives that might help him take advantage of his speed. He's a plus runner with a fringy arm who at least should get a year or so in center in the minors to see if he can be an above-average defender or better there.

The other major red flag is his lack of plate discipline: through May 18th, O'Neill has 33 walks and 106 strikeouts in his college career, playing in a weak baseball conference. He'll either have to improve that (dramatically) or turn out to be a 65 or better defender in center to be an everyday player.