Scouting Report: Wil Myers
By Will Weinstock
Today Express Tracks are taking an in-depth look at Kansas City Royals OF Wil Myers.
The 21-year-old was destined to be a star from the time he started as a freshman at Wesleyan Christian Academy in North Carolina. Before his junior season he committed to baseball powerhouse South Carolina. Myers would go on to have a star-studded high school career and was considered one of the best prep bats going into the 2009 MLB Amateur draft.
With the 12th overall selection the Kansas City Royals selected RHP Aaron Crow, and thought they had waived any chance at getting Myers goodbye. However, pick after pick teams were passing on Myers because they were worried about his “signability” concerns. The Royals selected the North Carolina native with the 91st pick, and met his $2 million signing bonus.
After signing, Myers wasted no time announcing his arrival to professional baseball. At rookie ball he had .429/.488/.735 line with four home runs, 14 RBI, and 18 runs scored in 18 games. In 2010, Myers did more of the same. He hit .315 with 14 home runs and 83 RBI over stops in Burlington and Wilmington.
Despite setting the world on fire offensively there were some question marks surrounding his defense and what was the best position for him to play. At the time the Royals were developing Myers strictly as a catcher. Although he had a strong arm, the 21-year-old needed a lot of work on his receiving skills and blocking balls in the dirt.
Going into the 2011 season the Royals decided to move him to the outfield in an effort to not let catching slow down his developmental time. However, for the first time the North Carolina native struggled offensively. Myers only hit .254 with eight home runs over 99 games at Double-A. However, the Royals were not concerned because he was still only 20 years old.
During the offseason Myers went back to the drawing board and made some changes in his swing. Since high school Myers had always used a crouched stance at the plate. But after only hitting 8 home runs in 2011 he decided to stand up taller in his stance in an effort to generate more power. And to say the changes have worked would be an understatement. Through 94 games this season Myers has 29 home runs, which 15 more than in his career high in any season.
Myers has proven himself in the minor leagues and is ready for a big league promotion.
Strengths: Plate discipline, offensive skill set, raw power, confidence at the plate, strong arm, and plays the game with an all-out approach.
Weaknesses: Needs to improve his reads and routes in the outfield.
Player Comparison: When we saw Myers out there for the first time, we immediately saw a young OF Hunter Pence. We not only believe they will put up similar numbers, but they play they game in a similar way. Both Myers and Pence take an all-out approach and play every game as if it is there last. Additionally they are throwback players as neither wears batting gloves. Despite playing mostly center field this season, Myers profiles as an aggressive right fielder with a strong arm much like Pence. In terms of sheer numbers Pence career averages come out to a .290 hitter with 26 home runs and 92 RBI a season. We anticipate Myers numbers will look similar to Pence with the chance of a little bit better average. Physically they are both freaks of nature, because of their big frames go to along with great athletic ability.
Estimated MLB Arrival: We believe that Myers will make his arrival in the major leagues sometime in September of this season. The only thing keeping the 21-year-old in the Triple-A right now is that there is no position for him to play. The Royals have OF Alex Gordon and OF Jeff Franceour in left and right field. And I do not believe the front office trusts Myers defensive abilities enough to stick him in center field. We anticipate him coming up as a September call-up and forcing himself into the starting lineup before the start of the 2013 season whether Franceour is still in Kansas City or not.
Postgame Evaluation: In the previous three games, Myers had struggled a bit. He only managed two hits in 15 at-bats against Express pitching. However, the North Carolina native had his revenge last night going 2-for4 with two RBI and a monstrous home run to the home run porch over the left field fence. We believe last night’s performance showed the confidence he has at the plate. Even after struggling he showed the ability to take one at-bat, one pitch at a time, and not let past struggles effect him.
Final Thoughts: Myers is an extremely talented player. His impressive numbers and play this season have shown he is ready for major league pitching. Although his swing is a tad unorthodox, like Pence, he still does a very good job of getting the head of his bat on the ball. And the ball jumps of his bat with ferocity. When Omaha takes batting practice you know when Myers is hitting just by hearing the sound the ball makes off his bat.