Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners notebook: O’Neill continuing breakout season in Arizona Fall League

The breakout season by Mariners outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill is continuing in the Arizona Fall League.

O’Neill, 21, was cited Friday by Baseball America at No. 2 in its weekly AFL Hot Sheet after going 8-for-32 with three homers and seven RBIs in his first seven games for the Peoria Javelinas.

"One of the AFL’s premier power brokers continued showing off this week," Baseball America reported. "O’Neill crushed a 400-foot home run off a tee in the preseason Bowman hitting challenge, and he has proceeded to swat three more in six games.

"He swatted 24 homers at Double-A Jackson this season and has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in an improving Mariners system."

One troublesome note: O’Neill has 13 strikeouts in his 32 at-bats.

O’Neill received the Ken Griffey Jr. Award from the Mariners as the organization’s minor-league hitter of the year after batting .293 with 24 homers and 102 RBIs at Double-A Jackson.

He was also selected as the Southern League’s most valuable player.

Other AFL performers:

***Outfielder Guillermo Heredia is 4-for-10 in three games as a taxi-squad player, which limits him to two games a week for Peoria.

***Catcher Tyler Marlette, who spent most of this season at Hi-A Bakersfield, is 5-for-15 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs in four games.

***Shortstop Drew Jackson, who also played at Bakersfield, is 2-for-16 in four games.

CISHEK OPTIMISTIC

Veteran reliever Steve Cishek appears cautiously optimistic that he’ll be ready for opening day after undergoing surgery Oct. 12 in Nashville, Tenn., to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.

Dr. Thomas Byrd, who performed the procedure, cited a recovery period of four-to-six months before Cishek could resume full baseball activities. That targets a return between mid-February and mid-April.

"The surgery went well," Cishek said. "Dr. Byrd is very careful and thorough, and I am already a week deep in rehab. I am progressing every day so far, and my goal is to be game ready by opening day."

The Mariners open the season April 3 at Houston.

Cishek, 30, was 4 -6 this season with a 2.81 ERA in 62 games. He had 25 saves in 31 chances before his injury forced him to the disabled list on Aug. 2. He served as a set-up reliever after he returned Aug. 19 and had nine holds in 10 chances.

POWELL BACK ON FIELD

Outfielder Boog Powell went 2-for-4 as the leadoff hitter Thursday at Aguilas in a 4-2 victory over Gigantes on opening day in the Dominican Winter League. He capped a four-run seventh inning with a two-out RBI single.

It was Powell’s first game action since receiving an 80-game suspension June 23 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Powell, 23, batted .270 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Tacoma prior to his suspension.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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