Exhilarating. Thrilling. Clutch. Those are all words used to describe rookie Wil Myers, whose 10th inning hit lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 2-1 win over the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
It marked his first career walkoff–just one of many big hits during a less than two month old major league career. And made even more special by the fact his parents were in town for this game.
While most young players freeze up in the spotlight, Myers thrives. Remember his first career homer–a grand slam at Yankee Stadium? Though not in a winning effort, that moment opened people’s eyes as to how he handles pressure.
High leverage situations aren’t the only thing Myers excels at though. His .327 batting average, .370 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage in just 38 games also lead the Rays, forcing manager Joe Maddon to put him in the cleanup spot behind veterans Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings.
Oh, and did I mention he was on a 12-game hit streak before going 0-for-4 in Friday night’s loss? Pretty incredible for a rookie with less than 40 games of experience if you ask me.
That being said, there’s still areas of Myers’ game which need polishing. He has a tendency to chase pitches outside the strike zone, evidenced in his 36 strikeouts. Defensively, he’s a work in progress, but what do you expect from a young guy fresh out of the minor leagues?
Can he lead the Rays to an AL East title or World Series berth? While unknown, Myers has shown time and time again that he loves pressure-packed moments. Just look to Saturday night for proof.