O'Neill, Pivetta, Quantrill raising Arizona

* C Tyler O'Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) and RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC) and RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) all impress in Arizona. ....  2013 Top Canadians eligible for draft 2013 Canadians in College  Letters of Intent 2012 Canadians in the Minors  2012-13 Canadians at Canadian schools

By Bob Elliott

“You like potato and I like potahto,

You like tomato and I like tomahto;

Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!

Let’s call the whole thing off!”

George and Ira Gershwin, 1937 ... “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”


One says O’Neill, One says Pivetta.

O’Neill, Pivetta, Pivetta O’Neill.

It’s a call too close to call.

Catcher Tyler O’Neill is impressing ... and drawing a crowd 115 scouts In Phoenix, Az., including scouting directors and general managers whose spring training clubs based in Arizona.

O’Neill going off in Arizona as they behind the screen:

_ 3-for-3 in a 2-1 win over the rookie-league Cincinnati Reds farmhands at Goodyear, Az.

_ 3-for-5 vs the Milwaukee Brewers youngsters at Maryvale, Az.

_ He hit a monster bomb vs. the Oakland Athletics on a 94 MPH pitch, the ball landing beyond the left centre fence in front of 100 plus scouts with lots of higher brass in attendance.

_ He was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles against the Brewers.

And he hit 11 out against Mariners during batting practice going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks as Langley led 11-3 and lost.

O’Neill was scratched from the Brewers game after blocking one in the unmentionables from Andrew Church, who has been ruled ineligible about a week before the season started at his Las Vegas high school.All in all he was 12-for-19 with four extra-base hits.


* * *

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, RHP Nick Pivetta of the New Mexico Jr. College Thunderbirds went the distance to lead the Thunder birds to a 6-3 victory over Howard College Hawks, bumping his record to 5-2.

He allowed three earned runs on eight hits, fanning four. Pivetta has a 3.05 ERA striking out 33 men in 41 1/3 innings.

In seven starts he has registered wins over Blinn, Otero, Clarendon, Midland and Howard.

Pivetta’s fastball was 88-92 MPH last season but jumped to the 95-97 MPH range during fall ball, according to evaluators.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is velocity.

This spring, depending upon whom you ask, Pivetta’s fastball has been clocked at 94 MPH but also 89 MPH.


* * *

Instead of tomatoes and potatoes, scouts could be talking kiwis ...

For example, should Cal Quantrill indicate he’ll sign, he’d be the first over-all Canadian.

Quantrill was a stud (88-92 MPH) in his three scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres.

He followed that up with three scoreless against the Seattle Mariners, allowing three hits in total.

Teams do not have a great track record signing players who have committed to Stanford University as Quantrill has.

Jays president Paul Beeston skillfully negotiated a contract with Paul Quantrill to bring the all-time leader in games pitched by a Canadian on board as a consultant.

LHP Travis Seabrooke (Peterborough, Ont.) had a strong three innings against the Padres, but struggled facing the Mariners.

Six-foot-3, C-3B Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC), a 2014 draft, is opening eyes, going 10-for-19 with four doubles.

Morgan Lofstrom (Kelowna, BC) homered against the Royals.





Bob ElliottComment