Major League Baseball’s pundits are widely predicting Maple Ridge slugger Tyler O’Neill could have another big year after being traded to the Boston Red Sox, if he can avoid injury.
On Friday, Dec. 8, the St. Louis Cardinals traded their power hitting outfielder for a pair of relief pitchers.
Jeff Passan of ESPN calls him an all-star calibre player when healthy.
The Cardinals’ Redbird Rants website predicts O’Neill is going to have a lot of success hammering balls into the Green Monster at Boston’s Fenway Park. He has had just 13 plate appearances at Fenway, but he’s hitting to a .500 average there so far.
"This is a really good move by the Red Sox... if he's healthy he could hit 25-30 HR in that ballpark easily." - @Plesac19 #MLBTonight reacts to the trade that will reportedly send Tyler O'Neill from St. Louis to Boston. pic.twitter.com/qoxSRQilPm— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 8, 2023
There have been lots of reference to the Tyler O’Neill of 2021, who hit .286 with 34 home runs, when he had a healthy season, and played 138 games. That year, he was eighth in National League MVP voting.
O’Neill grew up in Maple Ridge and played for the Langley Blaze of the Premier Baseball League. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners, was a star in the minor leagues, and then traded to the Cardinals.
O’Neill is known as being one of the most “jacked” players in the Majors, and much has been said about his gym habits.
Through his six seasons in St. Louis he has 1,464 at bats, hitting 78 home runs, and 217 RBI, while putting up a career .248 average. He has also won two Gold Glove Awards for his outstanding defence, and has impressive speed on the base paths with 40 stolen bases. He has been dogged by injuries the past two seasons.
O’Neill’s Instagram offered “For all the special memories, thank you St. Louis. Boston, let’s get it!”
It will be a key year for O’Neill, as he will become a free agent after the 2024 season, and is in the final season of a contract that pays him a reported $5.5 million per year.
The Cardinals had a surplus of outfielders, and received pitchers Nick Robertson and Victor Santos in return for O’Neill.