Tyler O’Neill has already made a big impact in his first 10 games with the Red Sox. He has five home runs and more walks (7) than strikeouts (6). Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Tyler O’Neill hit five homers in 28 at-bats to help the Red Sox go 7-3 on their West Coast road trip to open the 2024 regular season.

Now the Red Sox return to Fenway Park, where Manager Alex Cora thinks O’Neill is going to be a big hit. Boston opens its first homestand (10 games) when it hosts the Orioles at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday.

“I honestly believe this is the type of guy that people are going to fall in love (with) at Fenway because he plays with an attitude. He plays the game hard,” Cora said. “We’ve just gotta keep him healthy.”

O’Neill is 10 for 28 (.357) with a .514 on-base percentage and .893 slugging percentage in his 37 plate appearances. He also has more walks (7) than strikeouts (6).

It’s not only about offense for the muscular slugger with 3% body fat. He’s also a two-time Gold Glove winner who is ready for the challenge of playing right field at Fenway, the most spacious right field in the majors.

“It’s been an awesome first road trip,” O’Neill said before Friday’s game in Anaheim. “Just really getting to hunker down and know my teammates and staff – it’s a different kind of camaraderie on the road. A lot of family time at home. It made me realize when I was thinking about it, I was like, ‘Damn, we haven’t been to Fenway yet for Opening Day.’ It’s coming up to that time for sure. I’m looking forward to it. I’m so excited for it. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. So I want to see what that looks like, wearing that home uni inside of Fenway Park.”


O’Neill has made six starts in right field and two starts in left field. He’s expected to receive the majority of the time in right field at Fenway Park.

“We’ll see what right field looks like when we get out there,” O’Neill said. “I have a little bit of experience in spring training, just to kind of get an idea.”

JetBlue Park, Boston’s spring training home, has the same dimensions as Fenway.

“The wall’s a little different; it’s harder at Fenway Park. It’s going to bounce off it a little different,” O’Neill said. “I’m gonna have to check out how it rolls around, see the backdrop and stuff. Really learn the field and the grass and understand how the ball bounces as well. Just getting comfortable with my surroundings and space out there. That’s just gonna take reps. There’s just a little more room over in the corner there compared to other parks. But I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

O’Neill has settled into right field nicely after most of his playing time with the Cardinals from 2018-23 came in left field. Boston acquired O’Neill from St. Louis on Dec. 8. Entering this season, O’Neill had started 324 games in left field, 36 games in center field and 12 games in right field during his big league career.

“I came up as a right fielder,” O’Neill said. “I played all three in the minor leagues. I debuted as a right fielder. And then they moved me over to left.”


He was moved to left field simply because of the Cardinals’ personnel at the time.

“And obviously I had some success in left so they left me over there for a little bit,” O’Neill said. “Kind of transitioned into center field in ‘22, ‘23 a little bit. But I see the ball well in the corner. I see the ball really well in the corner. For me, it’s just like a mirror. It’s just like the other side of the field. And just the way the ball comes off, the angle and just the way you have to track it from home plate. I like it. I really like it. It’s going to let me show off my arm a little more, which I’m eager to do. And that’s just the name of the game right there. I’m looking forward to every opportunity I get.”

Cora has been impressed with the quality of O’Neill’s at-bats.

“Very disciplined,” Cora said. “He knows what he wants to do. Even the strikeouts, it’s close pitches on the edge of the zone. He doesn’t chase. If he does chase, he resets and gets back to what he wants to do. He can go the other way.”

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