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2019 Mets draft profile: Matt O’Neill

With their twentieth selection in the 2019 draft, the Mets selected Matt O’Neill, a catcher from New Jersey.

Born: Morristown, New Jersey

Age: 21 (8/20/97)

Height/Weight: 6’0”/215 lbs.

Position: C

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Daniel O’Neill, Matt’s father, played baseball while attending Tufts University, so it only made sense that he follow in his father’s footsteps. Lettering twice while playing baseball at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, not only did he attend an excellent school, like his father- the Wharton School of Business- but he also made it onto the University of Pennsylvania baseball team.

In his first year with the Quakers, O’Neill had an excellent season, winning Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors with a .341/.424/.535 batting line in 37 games. His batting average was fifth in the conference in and his slugging percentage second. He experienced something of a sophomore slump in 2017, as he hit .281/.341/.445 in 2017. While his batting line went down, his six home runs led the team, and he was one of the toughest catchers to run on, throwing out 40% of men trying to steal off of him. His offensive numbers took a nose dive in 2018, as he hit just .220/.350/.347 in 42 games. Having gone undrafted in the 2018 MLB Draft, the team captain returned to Pennsylvania to finish up his degree. Over the course of his final 40 games as a Quaker, O’Neill hit .405/.527/.620. He was an unanimous First-Team All-Ivy Selection at catcher, led the team in multiple categories, led the conference in multiple categories, and set the University of Pennsylvania baseball program record by drawing 40 walks.

At the plate, O’Neill stands square at the plate, slightly crouched. He swings with a leg kick and a slight stride. His swing is level with a bit of uppercut, spraying line drives around the field. Behind the plate, O’Neill has a strong arm and is one of the toughest arms to run on in the Ivy League conference.