Redbirds' O'Neill blasts two more homers

Cardinals No. 3 prospect tied for second in Minor Leagues with 13

Tyler O'Neill has homered in three straight games and belted seven long balls in the past 10. (Jamie Harms/MiLB.com)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | May 14, 2018 9:00 PM

Even for a slugger with two 30-homer seasons to his credit, Tyler O'Neill is on some kind of a roll.

The No. 78 overall prospect belted two homers Monday to account for Triple-A Memphis' offense in a 2-1 win over Nashville at AutoZone Park.

Video: Redbirds' O'Neill lifts second homer of day

O'Neill, who spent six games in the Major Leagues last month, belted one over the wall in left-center field with one out in the second inning against hard-throwing righty Frankie Montas (1-4).

"I just feel like I'm putting the barrel on the ball more," he said. "I've gone through some streaks for sure, this might be [the best], I don't keep track. I'm just trying to make sure I had good at-bats."

After Anthony Garcia responded with a homer off Cardinals No. 4 prospect Dakota Hudson in the top of the fourth, the right-handed hitter got to Montas again, jolting one over the wall in left in the bottom of the frame.


Gameday box score


O'Neill has homered in three straight games and parked seven in the past 10 games. The 22-year-old has batted .343 in that span to raise his average to .333. He was 0-for-6 in his brief time with the Cardinals, and although he wishes he stuck around longer, he enjoyed his taste of "The Show."

"Who doesn't want all the at-bats they can get? But I was just grateful for the opportunity to put my toe in the water," he said. "From my impression, I was just up for the fifth man on the bench role, but I totally understand my role. The guys they treat you like one of their own, everybody welcomed me with open arms."

The 2013 third-rounder is in the midst of his first full season in the Cardinals system and his second in the Pacific Coast League. He was traded from the Mariners last July 21 in a deal for left-handed starter Marco Gonzales and amassed a .246/.321/.499 line with 31 homers and 95 RBIs over 130 games between Triple-A Tacoma and Memphis.

The Cardinals added O'Neill to their 40-man roster in November but didn't get a long look at the British Columbia native in his first Spring Training camp with the club because of oblique and hamstring injuries. He went 3-for-12 with seven strikeouts in seven Grapefruit League games before being sent to Minor League camp.

MiLB include

Although O'Neill struck out three times in six big league at-bats, he has cut his whiff rate in the Minors to 22.2 percent, down from 26.7 a year ago.

"That's good to hear. I haven't been paying attention, but obviously, I know I'm striking out a little less, I'm just trying to keep those numbers going," he said.

O'Neill's pair of homers backed the pitching of Hudson (4-1), who allowed three hits and six walks while striking out four in five innings. Former big leaguers Edward Mujica and Ryan Sherriff followed with scoreless frames and Preston Guilmet closed out the game with two perfect innings for his seventh save.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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