Soroka, Quantrill, O'Neill crack Baseball America's Top 100 MLB Prospects
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA - For the second consecutive year, three Junior National Team alumni have cracked Baseball America’s Top 100 MLB Prospects.
Right-handed pitchers Mike Soroka (Atlanta Braves) and Cal Quantrill (San Diego Padres) made the list at numbers 27 and 52, respectively while outfielder Tyler O’Neill (St. Louis Cardinals) came in at number 86. All three players are on the list for the second year in a row.
Soroka, a native of Calgary, heads up the Canadian content with a Top-30 ranking and improves on his 2017 ranking of #48. The 20-year-old was nothing short of impressive during the 2017 season winning the Braves’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award while also representing Canada at the Future’s Game in Miami. The Braves took a chance advancing the then 19-year-old two levels to double-A after Spring Training and he made them look brilliant after putting together an All-Star caliber campaign that saw him go 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA. Soroka will be in big league camp with the Braves next month.
Teammates with Soroka in the Future’s Game, Port Hope, Ont., native Cal Quantrill is on the same path to the big leagues as his Canadian counterpart. The 22-year-old reached double-A in 2017, but more importantly pitched 116 innings just two years removed from Tommy John Surgery. The former eighth overall pick of the Padres in 2016 averaged nearly a strikeout per inning in 2017 and moved up 44 places from #96 on the Top 100 this time last year.
After struggling for the first time in his professional career and a midseason trade, Maple Ridge, B.C., native Tyler O’Neill hit his stride at triple-A Memphis and finished the season with 31 home runs and added four more in the playoffs as the Redbirds won the Pacific Coast league title under Canadian manager Stubby Clapp. The 22-year-old outfielder finished with an .850 OPS and drove in 95 runs proving that he’s ready to handle the challenge of the big leagues.
Soroka is one of eight Atlanta Braves’ players to make the Top 100 and lead the way among MLB organizations, while Quantrill is one of six Padres on the list, which is tied for second most among MLB clubs. O’Neill is one of four St. Louis Cardinals prospects to appear on the list.
To view the complete Baseball America Top 100 MLB Prospects, click here.