Mariners O’Neill Wins Baseball Of America AA POY, No One Is Surprised
By Adam Levi
One of the Mariners top prospects, Tyler O’Neill, locked up Baseball of America’s highest honor of the year today. Only thing is, he’s been so good at every level in the minors the past few years, who is really surprised?
General Manager, Jerry Dipoto should be smiling. He has Tyler O’Neill as a future resource to call up to the Mariners. Since 2014, O’Neil has been tearing up the Mariners minor league system. He has rapidly ascended the minors ranks in just a handful of seasons.
Even at the ripe age of eighteen, he showed poise and determination to succeed. His thirteen home runs with single-A Clinton lead the team that year. The next season, he was promoted to A+ Bakersfield, and he kept getting better.
The small city of Bakersfield, California got a taste of the (future) big show when O’Neill arrived. Countless aspiring, young Mariners have passed through the team gates, but few have ever amazed like O’Neil did.
In 2015, His thirty-two homers were the most at the Mariners minor league affiliate in recent memory. And his eighty-seven runs batted in are the fourth most since 2005. Last year, though,
was just another high point of his minor league career. The Mariners would promote him in 2016, and he just kept on rolling.
In his award-winning year, he upped his game one more level. O’Neill passed the century for RBI for the first time in his career. He finished the year with one hundred and two of them. obliterating the rest of his teammates. The next closest total was fifty-nine.
His batting average of .293 topped the Generals as well- for players who took part in at least sixty games. And although his twenty-four homers was a decrease from the prior year, the pitchers he faced were of higher quality, so it is to be expected that some of his numbers level off.
Even with the regular season over, O’Neill hasn’t decided to let up. His Generals are the third Mariners minor league squad to reach their respective championship series. O’Neill did as much as he could this evening to give the Generals a game one win in the best of five series.
In the division series, he attacked Montgomery with everything he’s had the past few years. He hit .466, had three home runs and drove in six RBI. For the newly minted Southern League MVP -yes, that’s to go along with the Player of the Year award- this is to be expected.
With everything O’Neill has done right this year, it should be no surprise to anyone that he earned the prestigious honor of Player of the Year. It is only a matter of time that we see him in a Mariner uniform, flashing his talent for the world to see.