When the Kansas City Royals traded OF Wil Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason, one of the biggest criticisms of the trade on the Royals’ end was that Myers is better than their current right field options. Myers likely could’ve out-produced Jeff Francoeur from the beginning of the season, but it is now mid-June and Myers is still at AAA.
Myers’ time is now. He is going to be promoted in the next week, and the Rays could use him. Struggling to contend – currently a few games behind either Wild Card spot in the American League – the Rays should take the chance that Myers could out-produce the slumping Luke Scott.
Between his 99 games in AAA in the Royals’ organization and his 60 games in AAA in the Rays’ organization, Myers has accumulated about a full season of statistics. He has 37 home runs, 107 RBI, and 165 strikeouts. The 23% strikeout rate for a highly regarded prospect at AAA is slightly concerning, but Myers’ power is very real.
Expectations for Myers should be tempered for the immediate future, but anything is possible. As young players like Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have come up and immediately produced at the major league level, we now often overstate the upside for very young players’ short-term prospects. Myers could come up and immediately produce offensively with his plus power, but he could also struggle with a lack of contact and plenty of strikeouts.
The Rays will likely give Myers every chance to play and succeed when they eventually call him up. Myers’ defense is a work in progress, but his bat has upside that few in their lineup besides Evan Longoria’s has. Myers will be with the Rays within the next week, and all of the speculation will finally be matched with tangible evidence of his ability.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.