Penn's Matt O'Neill drafted by Mets

Matt Leon
June 07, 2019 - 1:42 pm
Matt O'Neill

Penn Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Matt O'Neill enjoyed an outstanding career as a catcher at the University of Pennsylvania. 

He wrapped up his time with the Quakers by being named unanimous first-team All-Ivy and the Big 5 Player of the Year this past season, after hitting .405 with a .527 on-base percentage.

The New York Mets took notice of his success and drafted O'Neill this week, selecting him in the 20th round.

"I'm just really excited and very grateful for the opportunity to keep playing," O'Neill said. "It's definitely a dream come true."

O'Neill said he knew the Mets had some interest in him leading up to the draft.

"I had a few good conversations with (their) scout," he said. "Then I went down to their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, for a workout actually this past Saturday. So I knew that they were somewhat interested."

O'Neill noted that his time with the Quakers helped him get to this point.

"The first and foremost thing that kind of helped me at Penn was the coaching staff there," he said. "And my teammates, but the coaches were incredibly supportive. But more than that, they were always there whether I wanted to hit before practice or after practice, there was always a coach who was there taking time out of their day to help you do whatever you wanted. 

"Just having them there and really them being invested in me as a player for, A, our team, but, B, for my dreams and aspirations, they were unbelievable. I couldn't have ask for a better coaching staff to help me grow as a player."

O'Neill is the 14th Penn player to be selected in the MLB Draft since 1991.

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