Arizona Fall League Season Review: Mariners Best Batter
It should be no surprise that the Mariners number two prospect (the league’s fifty-ninth), Tyler O’Neill, was the Mariners stand out batter for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
Tyler O’Neill was this year’s player of the year, not just by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s (BBWAA) standards or the Mariners standards, but by any baseball watching fans standards.
Winning award after award, and a double-AA league championship, O’Neill did it all. It seems he wasn’t ready to let up just yet during this past months Arizona Fall League season.
His three home runs, fourteen RBI, five doubles and .292 batting average was a strong offensive force. On the defensive side of the ball, O’Neill surrendered his body as he laid out to make many diving grabs and leaping catches to stop the competition.
The complete effort earned him his latest accolade of 2016, being elected to the AFL All-Prospect team.
Yet, despite all that O’Neill has accomplished in 2016, GM Jerry Dipoto has not decided to call him up to the big leagues… yet. As of this writing, O’Neill does not appear on the Mariners twenty-five man roster. That doesn’t mean he won’t end up there, remember, there are still one hundred and twenty-six days until opening day.
O’Neill must like playing in the minors, though. Over the past four years, O’Neill has hit seventy home runs (fifty-six in the last two years) and driven in two hundred and forty-four RBIs (one hundred and eighty-nine the past couple years) while batting .276.
Imagine if he kept those type of numbers up in the majors. We’re looking at an all-star with gold glove prowess the Mariners haven’t seen too often in the outfield (Ichiro and Griffey Jr. withstanding).
Next: Segura Gives Mariners A Top Five in Field
Whether his 2016 to remember puts him on the Mariners roster in 2017 is yet to be seen, but O’Neill’s fantastic Arizona Fall League is just further proof that the Mariners have a future star waiting to take the MLB by storm.