Red Sox Gold Glove, $5 Million Slugger Being Predicted to Win AL MVP

Tyler O'Neill

Getty Tyler O'Neill hitting a home run against the Baltimore Orioles on April 10.

Nothing about the start of the 2024 season has been status quo for the Boston Red Sox. Especially not Tyler O’Neill’s hot bat.

On top of that, the bullpen is outperforming,
they’ve won seven of 13, and O’Neill is drawing American League MVP chatter.

Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller is to credit for the “knee-jerk” reaction. He pushed the O’Neill-MVP agenda in an April 11 column.

Miller is surprised the Red Sox slugger is building off of a strong Opening Day performance, which is normal.

“The 26-year-old always homers on Opening Day, but he doesn’t usually stay hot,” Miller wrote. “In fact, this is the first time since 2020 that he had multiple home runs within his team’s first 11 games, let alone five of them.“

It’s the quantity, not quality, of O’Neill’s big hits that have caught Miller’s eye.

“Thus far, they’ve all been solo shots,” Miller added. “But O’Neill entered Wednesday tied with Mike Trout for the MLB lead in home runs and in sole possession of first place in slugging (.906). He’s doing this in a new league for a new team that has gotten out to a hotter start than expected.”

It will take a mutual success from both Boston and O’Neill for an actual MVP campaign to take off. But through 13 games; so far, so good.

Despite an 0-4 night against the Baltimore Orioles, O’Neill’s still slashing .308/.460/.769, which are all career-highs.

The trade between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Red Sox that brought O’Neill to Fenway is starting to look a little one-sided.

As of April 12, Boston’s top slugger isn’t listed on prospective AL MVP winners and their odds on FanDuel. Third baseman Rafael Devers is listed 16th with +4000 odds.

Boston Winning the O’Neill Trade

Through 12 games this season, O’Neill has hit six home runs in 50 plate appearances.

Through 13 games this season, the Cardinals have 11 home runs in 484 plate appearances.

Nick Robertson and Victor Santos, the two pitching prospects sent in exchange for O’Neill, are a combined 0-2 in Triple-A ball this season.

Boston has won seven games.

St. Louis has won six.

This is at worst, a win-win deal.

But if O’Neill is able to keep pace, it will be a home run off the diamond too, hit out of the park by Craig Breslow, Chief Baseball Officer.

He may have to pull off another, following an injury to the team’s starting shortstop.

Trevor Story Out for Season

Boston’s scrambling after Trevor Story suffered a fractured glenoid bone in his left shoulder.

The two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger landed on his shoulder in an April 5 game against the Los Angeles Angels, diving for a ground ball hit by Mike Trout.

Craig Breslow told Chris Cotillo of on April 9 that Story is set to undergo surgery and miss at least six months.

“After speaking with our medical staff further, confirmation on a second opinion and Trevor’s decision to go forward, we had talked about some concern over his bony structure,” Breslow said. “He’s got a fracture of the glenoid rim, so he’ll have surgery on Friday to fix that.”

Story’s timeline will start at six months.

In the meantime, the Red Sox will explore options on the trade market, but aren’t committed to any one solution, with a lot of young talent coming down the pipeline.