30 Prospects in 30 Days: Wil Myers – OF – TB
For better or worse, Wil Myers was the most talked about prospect of the offseason. Travis d’Arnaud had his moment in the sun when the R.A Dickey trade occurred, but Myers is the former Minor League Player of The Year with an incredibly high ceiling. Myers was ‘blocked’ by the awful Jeff Francouer, which resulted in Myers being shipped out as the centerpiece in a deal that netted the Royals James Shields and Wade Davis. As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Myers will likely get a chance to contribute on the Major League club very soon, possibly even before management believes the Super 2 deadline has passed. Given his potential impact at the Major League level, Myers deserves some deeper analysis.
Something that instantly jumps out when perusing Myers’ minor league stats is his BABIP. His lowest BABIP that he ever posted was .312 in 416 plate appearances at AA in 2011. Standing 6’3″ and weighing a stout 200 pounds, Myers doesn’t really have blazing speed. He has stolen a few bases throughout his distinguished minor league career, but that isn’t where Myers fantasy value will be. While speed can normally explain a higher than average BABIP, it does not explain why Joey Votto has consistently had BABIP’s north of .350. Miguel Cabrera, basically the exact image of the unathletic baseball player has never had a BABIP under .310. It appears that Myers may possess some truly special abilities when hitting that the average power hitter does not.
Beyond the tertiary numbers, Myers has serious power. He lead the minors in homeruns in 2012 and as Rany Jayzerli noted, former Minor League Player’s Of The Year have performed very well in the majors. In his very first trip to AAA, Myers slugged .554 after absolutely raking in AA. If Dayton Moore was not bordering on criminally incompetent, Jeff Francouer would have been replaced by Myers midway through the last season. A 22 year old that is posting an ISO of .388 at AA or .250 at AAA deserves to be in the majors. The only year that Myers was ever middling was 2011 in AA and even then he was able to hit 8 homers and swipe 9 bags. It is not unusual for a young player to struggle in their first try at a new level. Royals prospect Mike Moustakas has always struggled in his first trip through a new level and it isn’t wholly uncommon.
I do not believe, however, that Myers will struggle once the Rays call him up. While The Trop is not exactly a hitter friendly park, Myers will be an offensive weapon worthy of fantasy consideration. Myers’ Major League Equivalency statistics, courtesy of Driveline Baseball, paint a very pretty picture. Using his 2012 AAA stats in Driveline’s statistics engine, the final line arrives at .253/18/59. Myers’ ZiPS projections are even more optimistic. One of the most trusted projections systems puts Myers’ line at 26 homers and a slugging percentage of .444. It may take 500 PA’s for Myers to get a handle on consistently getting on base. But when he does make contact, however, he will hit the cover off the ball.
For 2013 redraft leagues, Myers will likely end up being a top 40ish outfielder but in dynasty and keeper formats, Myers is someone in whom you should invest heavily. It is possible that the current perception is that he is just another power bat that hasn’t proven anything. However, the combination of his scouting profiles, Jayzerli’s study (referenced earlier), and the indicators of his peripheral numbers, Myers is destined for superstardom.