Maple Ridge slugger Tyler O’Neill had home runs in three straight games for the St. Louis Cardinals through Monday’s Major League Baseball action.
The power hitting outfielder has been tearing up Triple A baseball this season, but made no impression on the Cards during an earlier call-up, where he was with the big club from April 19-26 and went hitless in seven at bats.
His May return to the Big Leagues has been awesome for the former Langley Blaze player.
O’Neill got his first big league hit on May 18 as he ripped a shot down the third base line for a single.
Then he proceeded to homer in each of his next three games.
On Saturday, batting seventh in the order and playing right field against the Philadelphia Phillies, he got his first career home run off reliever Luis Garcia.
On Sunday, hitting in the cleanup spot and playing left field, he went 3-for-4 at the plate, including a 403-foot home run off the Phillies tough starter Aaron Nola.
Then on Monday, he continued his hot hitting against the Kansas City Royals, hammering a three-run opposite field shot off starter Ian Kennedy, and adding another RBI double. He was again batting in the middle of the order, in fifth.
With the hot streak of 7-for-12 O’Neill has redeemed himself and now has a .368 average to start his promising career.
To put his accomplishments in perspective, no other Cardinals player has ever homered in three straight games at such an early point in his career – his eighth, ninth and tenth career games. O’Neill is just 22, and was a third-round pick in the 2013 draft, taken by the Seattle Mariners.
O’Neill was tearing it up with the Memphis Redbirds prior to his call-up. In 113 at bats this season he was hitting .319 and had 13 home runs, which was good for second in the Pacific Coast League. Through 608 at bats and 159 games in triple A, the equivalent of a season, he has put up all-star numbers with 44 home runs, 126 RBI, a .260 average and 15 stolen bases.
The baseball pundits are saying he might never go back to the minor leagues.