Cooperstowners in Canada
My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories:
–Langley Blaze and Junior National Team alum Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) is among the major league leaders with 13 hits so far this spring. The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder is 13-for-33, good for a .394 batting average. Two of those hits have been home runs. Baseball America recently identified him as one of 25 players that scouts believe could have a breakout season. “A little bit towards the end of last year I saw him driving the ball to the opposite field more and that’s what he’s doing now,” a scout told Baseball America. “He’s driving fastballs oppo [to the opposite field] and he’s still on breaking balls. In the past he’s been more pull-oriented and really scuffled with secondaries.” The Cardinals are obviously hoping O’Neill’s success at the plate carries over into the regular season. He batted .173 with seven home runs in 50 games in 2020, but won a Gold Glove Award for his defence in left field.