Tyler O'Neill called up by the Cardinals

 Junior National Team and Langley Blaze alum Tyler O'Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) has been called up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

Junior National Team and Langley Blaze alum Tyler O'Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) has been called up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

April 19, 2018

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

OTTAWA - Maple Ridge, B.C. native Tyler O’Neill has been recalled by the St. Louis Cardinals paving the way for the 22-year-old to make his big league debut. 

O’Neill and the Cardinals are in Chicago to close out a series against the Cubs before opening a three-game set at home against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

O’Neill’s promotion comes at a time where he’s one of the hottest hitters in all of Minor League Baseball. Through 12 games with triple-A Memphis, he’s hit six home runs, driven in 18 and is slashing at a .388/.385/.837 clip.

A highly regarded prospect, O’Neill came into the 2018 season as the No. 86 ranked prospect in baseball by Baseball America and No. 94 by MLBPipeline.com.

Making the promotion even more significant was the fact that Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp, a former standout with the Canadian National Team as a player and coach, delivered the news to O’Neill.

“I was excited to be able to tell him,” said Clapp. “It’s always fun giving that kind of news but the fact that (O’Neill) is a member of Team Canada made it even more special.”

Clapp had the opportunity to coach O’Neill in 2015 at the Pan Am Games in Ajax, Ont., where both helped Team Canada to a gold medal. The pair reunited last season in Memphis when the Cardinals, in a midseason trade with the Seattle Mariners, acquired O’Neill. The Redbirds capped a tremendous season with a Pacific Coast League championship with O’Neill contributing four home runs in 11 playoff games.

“Since he got here (last summer), he’s worked really hard and made some adjustments that have paid off,” added Clapp. “I just told him to go have fun (with the Cardinals) and keep doing your thing.”

Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2013 MLB Draft and signed by legendary Canadian scout, the late Wayne Norton, O’Neill played with the Junior National Team program in 2013 and was named MVP after a standout performance at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan. He represented Canada at the Pan Am Games and inaugural WBSC Premier 12 in 2015 and at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Miami.

He is set to become the 262nd Canadian all-time to play Major League Baseball, the sixth Canadian to appear in the big leagues in 2018 and the 25th Canadian to appear in a game with the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.