The organization’s top power-hitting prospect showed he’s more than just strength and intensity, showcasing his piano-playing skills to teammates.
PEORIA, Ariz. — When you think of Mariners’ prospect Tyler O’Neill, the first mental images are of towering home runs, laser line drives, a chiseled frame of a body builder much like his father, Terry, a one-time Mr. Canada winner, and nonstop intensity in every action on the baseball field.
But after Sunday, his teammates and the Mariners’ coaching staff will also think of him having the gentle touch and finger dexterity of a trained pianist.
Yes, a pianist.
As part of manager Scott Servais’ now traditional morning meetings where players get to know each other and open about their life and personal side, O’Neill performed a mini-recital of one song — the theme to “Lord of the Rings” — on a keyboard for his teammates. He was joined by flame-throwing reliever Thyago Vieira, who beat-boxed along with O’Neill’s playing, in a sort of duet.
With rain forcing the Mariners to bump their game up to by an hour on Monday, there was no time for a morning meeting. But the players and coaches were still buzzing from Sunday.
“I don’t think anything will top yesterday morning’s meeting,” Servais said. “We are going to give it a couple days. It was a good as I’ve seen in a while. Tyler O’Neill was outstanding. He played on the keyboard, the theme from ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Vieira was right there doing the beat box with him. There was dancing.”
O’Neill and Vieira received a standing ovation from their teammates.
“Actually, it was really good,” said outfielder Kyle Waldrop, who has locker next to O’Neill. “I was impressed.”
How did this happen? Well it started about a week ago when it was O’Neill’s turn to stand up in front of the team and answer questions about himself — something every player must do in camp. Questions about…