O'Neill flying high with two more homers

Cards No. 4 prospect's six homers are tied for Minor League lead

Tyler O'Neill has hit 16 home runs in 48 games with Triple-A Memphis dating back to last season. (Memphis Redbirds)

By Michael Avallone / MiLB.com | April 16, 2018 5:00 PM

Tyler O'Neill is putting on an early-season power display that is becoming impossible to ignore.

The No. 4 Cardinals prospect homered twice and drove in four runs to lead Triple-A Memphis past Iowa, 7-4, Monday afternoon at AutoZone Park. O'Neill scored three times and also singled for his sixth multi-hit effort in 11 games. He is tied with Padres No. 16 prospect Josh Naylor for the Minor League-lead with six roundtrippers after his second multi-home run game of the season and the 10th of his career.

Gameday box score

O'Neill began his big day by capping the Redbirds' three-run first with a two-run blast to left-center field. The British Columbia native slugged another two-run homer to center in the third before singling to right and scoring on Steven Baron's base hit in the fifth. Looking for the first three-homer game of his career, O'Neill grounded out in the seventh and popped out in the eighth. 

Through 11 games, MLB.com's No. 94 overall prospect is hitting .432/.426/.932 and his 18 RBIs are second in the Minors behind Nationals second-ranked prospect Juan Soto

"I mean, I don't know how to answer that. When I go up to the plate I want to stay short to the ball and not get pull-happy," O'Neill told MiLB.com after his first multi-home run game April 7. "That was honestly my approach when I got the second home run, which was to the opposite field."

Video: Memphis' O'Neill tied for Minor League home run lead

Seattle's third-round pick in 2013, O'Neill was obtained by St. Louis last July 20 in exchange for Marco Gonzales. The outfielder had no trouble adjusting to his new home, batting .253/.304/.548 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 37 games with Memphis. O'Neill topped 30 homers for the second time in three years last season when he mashed 31 with Tacoma and Memphis. Combined with his hot start to 2018, O'Neill has hit .295 and gone deep 16 times while driving in 57 runs in his first 48 games as a Redbird.

MiLB include

Cardinals 10th-ranked prospect Max Schrock had an RBI double during his second consecutive three-hit game while No. 23 Oscar Mercado, who went deep in his last at-bat Sunday, homered leading off the bottom of the first.

Memphis starter Dakota Hudson (3-0) allowed two runs over six innings to win his third consecutive start. The No. 6 Cardinals prospect scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out four.

Cubs 13th-ranked prospect Mark Zagunis singled twice and drove in a run one day after collecting three hits, including a homer and three RBIs.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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