The Tampa Bay Rays have a new top prospect, and rumor has it they already have a path laid out for the young man.
Wil Myers, the 22-year-old outfielder acquired from the Kansas City Royals in 2012, will begin next season in the minors, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
As Mooney writes: “While the Rays like to delay the arbitration/free agent clock on all their young players, Myers will most surely begin the year at Triple-A Durham so he can continue to develop and so he can build the confidence that comes with playing everyday before he faces the bright lights of the major leagues for the first time.”
The Rays are known for treating their top line prospects with kid gloves, so this isn’t a surprising move. Both developmentally and financially it makes more sense for the club and it will allow Myers an opportunity to become accustomed to the franchise.
The Royals never gave Myers a shot at the big club last season even though many scouts (and coaches) believed he was big-league ready. It’s a much different story in the ultra-competitive AL East, where Tampa is going to be battling with the always tough New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the AL Wild Card Baltimore Orioles, as well as a Toronto Blue Jays club that went all in during the off-season.
Tampa needs to put its best lineup on the field as soon as possible, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes the Rays to call Myers–who hit .314 with 37 homers in Double and Triple-A last season–up from Durham.