Is Mike O'Neill really an overachiever?

The newly-promoted Memphis OBP machine discusses his success, motivations and the future in an exclusive interview with The Cardinal Nation's Brian Walton.

To many, Memphis outfielder Mike O'Neill fits the classic definition of an overachiever. But is he, really? How long does it take for consistent success to become the norm?

Undersized at 5-foot-9 and lacking significant power and breakaway speed, the former 31st-round draft pick just gets on base. Whether by taking a walk or slapping the ball the other way, he succeeds – despite the level.

Last season, in the A-Advanced Florida State League, O'Neill was the runaway winner of the batting and OBP titles and was the Player of the Month in both July and August according to both the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation.

Moved up to Double-A Springfield in mid-August, O'Neill kept producing. In fact, he hit the after burners. In the final 13 games of the season, his line was .563/.643/.719 for the Cardinals club that went on to take the Texas League title.

In the Arizona Fall League prospect showcase, O'Neill's OBP was .463. This season, the left-handed hitter was a Texas League All-Star and second in the Double-A circuit's batting race at .320 when promoted in mid-season for the second year in a row. This time, the move was to Triple-A Memphis at the end of July.

Once again, at 13 games into his new level, O'Neill is showing the step up was no problem. Installed in the Redbirds leadoff position by manager Pop Warner, the left-fielder's Pacific Coast League line is .320/.442/.426/.868.

In the following exclusive interview, O'Neill discusses his success, his motivations and his hopes for the future.


Recent Memphis interviews

2B Kolten Wong
Manager Pop Warner
Pitcher Michael Wacha
Pitcher Carlos Martinez

Coming soon

This current Memphis interview series is now concluded, but check out current and upcoming interviews from Peoria, Springfield and St. Louis, exclusively at The Cardinal Nation.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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