2019 has been quite the year for Penn catcher Matt O’Neill. In addition to graduating from Wharton this spring, O’Neill had an incredible 2019 season with Penn baseball. His hard work as a Quaker has landed him a spot with the New York Mets.
This year Penn celebrates its fifth draft pick since 1991 with O’Neill. O’Neill was drafted in the MLB 20th round as the 598th overall pick.
O’Neill’s draft pick comes after a strong season for the Red and Blue. Despite falling short of the Ivy League championship, the Quakers achieved a record of 23-18 with the help of O’Neill and the rest of the team.
O’Neill, who served as the Quaker team captain for the last two years, has been an exceptional player over his four years at Penn. As a starter in his first season with the team in 2016, O’Neill was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and received an All-Ivy Honorable Mention at catcher and DH.
In 2017, Matt kept up the great work batting at .281 with six home runs and 26 RBIs for the season. This season, he also received an All-Ivy Honorable Mention.
In 2018 and 2019, the Quakers saw O’Neill as the starting catcher for majority of the games. Even as a starting catcher for 41 out of 42 games in 2018, O’Neill scored 22 runs through the season, five of them being home runs. O’Neill set the record for walks with 40 walks in the 2019 season. He was also fifth in the Ivy League for RBIs, getting 40 RBIs across the season. At the end of this season, O’Neill was unanimously named to the First Team All-Ivy.
In addition to his Ivy League stats, O’Neill ranked sixth in the nation for his .527 on base percentage.
O’Neill’s time at Penn was record-setting, and it is only a matter of time until he breaks MLB records. Although his time at Penn has come to a close, O’Neill is entering a great new chapter with the New York Mets.