Tyson A. Gillies
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- School Iowa Western Community College
- High School R. E. Mountain Secondary School
Tyson Gillies has played as high as AAA.
Tyson was born deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. No one knew he was deaf until he was four because he learned to read lips very well. Gillies was the last player cut from Canada's roster before the 2006 World Junior Championship. The Seattle Mariners took him in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow.
After a year of junior college, Gillies was signed by scout Wayne Norton. The Mariners sent him in 2007 to the AZL Mariners, where he hit .221/.337/.302 and to the Everett AquaSox, where he was 5 for 8. The Vancouver native opened 2008 with the High Desert Mavericks, going 7 for 30 with a walk, steal and a triple. Demoted back to Everett, he found his hitting stroke, batting .313/.439/.427 with 24 steals in 31 tries. He also had 8 outfield assists in 56 games. He tied Nate Tenbrink for the most swipes in the Northwest League and finished 5th in the loop in average, right behind Josh Vitters. Baseball America rated him the #15 prospect in the circuit.
At age 20, Gillies continued to improve. He produced at a .341/.430/.486 rate for the 2009 High Desert Mavericks with 14 triples, 104 runs and 44 steals in 63 tries. He had 18 outfield assists while making only two errors. He led Mariners farmhands in runs, hits (170, tied with teammate Alex Liddi), triples (tied with teammate Carlos Peguero) and steals. He tied Koby Clemens for third in the affiliated minors in average (behind Liddi and John Bowker), tied Terry Evans for 4th in runs, tied Liddi and Drew Locke for 4th in hits, tied for third in triples and was 5th in OBP. He led California League outfielders with 273 putouts and was one assist shy of leader Danny Payne. He led the Cal League in stolen bases, times caught stealing and sacrifice hits (16, tied with Andrew Romine). He was one triple behind league leader Jon Gaston and was third in average behind Clemens and Liddi. Despite all of that, he was left off the Cal League All-Star team as Thomas Neal, Roger Kieschnick and Gaston were chosen. Baseball America ranked him as the league's #13 prospect, right behind Kieschnick and Cory Luebke as well as calling him the loop's most exciting player. In the 2009 Futures Game, he played right field and center field for the World team, hitting second between Alcides Escobar and Liddi. In his first at-bat, he grounded out against Chris Tillman. The next time up, he bunted his away aboard versus Brian Matusz and promptly showed off some more speed, stealing both second and third base. He scored on a grounder by Bárbaro Cañizares. In the fifth, he drew a walk from Danny Duffy. Two innings later, he struck out facing Trevor Reckling.
That winter, he was dealt with fellow Canadian prospect Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez to the Philadelphia Phillies for Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Philadelphia assigned him for 2010 to the Reading Phillies; he hit a modest .238/.286/.333 in his first 26 games at AA and had a brief rehab stint with the GCL Phillies. He had three stints on the disabled list due to a left hamstring strain he kept re-injuring. In August 2010, Gillies was charged with cocaine possession.
He missed most of 2011 due to the left hamstring sprain and the left foot sprain, playing briefly with the Clearwater Threshers (2 for 17, R). He returned to action in the fall with the Scottsdale Scorpions (.178/.302/.233). Injuries plagued him again in 2012 as he was sidelined by a concussion. Apart from two rehab stints, he did see his most playing time in three years, batting .304/.369/.453 with 8 triples and 59 runs in 68 games for Reading. Despite his limited time, he was third in the Eastern League in triples, behind Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Hicks. He tied Albert Cartwright for third in the Phils chain. He also was suspended by the team for a verbal outburst at the team bus driver.
Gillies made Team Canada for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He excelled as their center fielder, going 7 for 14 with a double, triple, homer (off Luke Sommer), five runs and three RBI in three games as Canada advanced to the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He tied Tim Smith for second on the team in runs (behind Jimmy Van Ostrand), tied Adam Loewen for second in average (behind Van Ostrand) and was second to Van Ostrand in OBP, slugging and OPS. He also played that off-season for the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan League, batting .294/.357/.373 in 13 games.
The Vancouver native was back with Canada for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, hitting leadoff and starting in center field but went 0 for 14 and the team failed to advance to the second round. In the summer of 2013, he hit .267/.312/.477 in 51 games for Reading and .212/.286/.313 in 63 games for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, making it to AAA three years after he first hit AA. He did have 12 outfield assists for the year and stole 17 bases in 22 tries. He hit .214/.270/.289 in 43 games for the 2014 IronPigs and was 2 for 8 for Clearwater; his anger again provided problems as he was suspended three games by the team for damaging the bat rack in an outburst.
Gillies signed with the San Diego Padres for 2015 and was at .268/.294/.329 after 33 games for the San Antonio Missions. He then joined Team Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games. He did a fine job, hitting .259/.355/.630 with 3 homers, 8 runs and 7 RBI in 7 games as Canada won the Gold Medal. They became the second country (after Cuba) to successfully defend a Gold at the Pan American Games in baseball and followed Cuba as the only team with multiple Golds in the Pan Ams. Gillies tied for second in the Pan Ams in homers (even with Brock Kjeldgaard, Alfredo Despaigne, Tyler O'Neill, Jeffrey Dominguez and José Adolis García, behind Anthony García), tied for 5th in RBI (with Urmaris Guerra, Kjeldgaard, Dominguez and Raúl González), tied Rudy Reyes for third in runs (behind Dickie Joe Thon and Dominguez) and was 10th in slugging. In the Gold Medal game, he went 1 for 4 with a run in the 7-6 win over Team USA. His run came in the bottom of the 10th, with Canada down 6-4; he scored on a Pete Orr single to start the winning comeback.