Who: William Bradford Myers
DOB: 12/10/1990, Thomasville, North Carolina
Weight: 190 lb
Acquired: 2009 Draft – 3rd round
~ Baseball America: #2
~ Royals Review #1
~ Kevin Goldstein: #4
~ John Sickels: #3 A
~ Royals Prospects: #3
~ 2010 Kings of Kauffman Rankings: #1
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||96||19||31||7||2||5||18||9||18||.369||.427||.679||1.106|
|A (1 season)||A||294||42||70||19||1||10||45||48||55||.289||.408||.500||.908|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||247||28||71||18||2||4||38||37||39||.346||.453||.512||.966|
After tearing up the Rookie leagues last season, Wil Myers landed in our #1 spot in 2010′s rankings.
Even after a great pro debut, he carried the success over to a fine showing at Burlington where he showed both great patience and hitting in putting up a .408 on-base percentage. He continued the success further with a promotion to Wilmington where he took everything a step up – despite a drop in power (not uncommon at Wilmington), he almost had a 1.000 OPS.
If Myers did nothing but handle the bat well, he’d still be up this high in our rankings. He has tremendous bat speed and pitch recognition and his swing is easy and repeatable. Just ask any pitcher he’s faced so far and I’m sure they’ll tell you he’s a feared hitter in any lineup.
The Royals nearly took him with their first round pick in 2009 and Myers was considered one of the top high school hitters available. Other teams passed him up because of concern over salary demands and the chance he might go to college. The Royals didn’t have strong enough concern when their next pick came around (remember they’d surrendered a second rounder by signing Juan Cruz before the 2009 season). Myers, like many of the talented players in the Royals system, was another above-slot bonus baby, netting $2 million as a third rounder, a higher bonus than many first round picks got.
He’s well worth it. He’s barely 20 years old and could have seen time in Double A by now if he hadn’t been drafted as a catcher.
Myers will start 2011 moving to the outfield, a move that was speculated for a while, and ultimately will get his bat to the big leagues faster. The Royals have 2013 in mind as The Year, at which time they’ll have a year and a half at least of Mike Moustakas, a year and change of Eric Hosmer and at some point (probably) Wil Myers. He’ll start this year in Double A. Assuming all goes well, he should play 2012 in Omaha. With the development of Salvador Perez, it wasn’t vital he stay at catcher – and while he could have developed there, he wasn’t doing all that great either.
As an outfielder, Myers will feature a strong arm and good athleticism. He’s making a move that’s been done by many before him, and with his height, he gets compared to Jayson Werth and Dale Murphy often.
Myers drop in our rankings isn’t a big deal – there’s no warning bell that he’s lost a step or has fallen talent-wise. In this case, it’s a matter of viewing the prospect and viewing the player. As a prospect, he has more value as a catcher, where his offensive skills would translate into an advantage enjoyed by few other teams. Atlanta and Minnesota benefit from having Brian McCann and Joe Mauer behind the plate and they’re able to then slot other strong players in their outfield.
Myers as a player hasn’t regressed any and he’ll only get better as he learns a few more tricks and adds power. He’s shown the ability to get on base at every level and recognizes pitches quickly. That patience and batting eye will give him a major league approach, and I suspect he’ll see many hitters’ counts over the course of his career. That only sets him up for success. He has the tools to turn that approach into results.
Moving him to outfield likely gets him more game time and more at bats. Since he gets on base more often than most and will get more opportunities to do so, that’s a benefit that offsets the offensive downgrade at catcher in the future. Myers hasn’t shown any sense of being injury prone, but catching every day takes its toll and the chance for broken fingers or knee or back problems could steal games from him as a big leaguer. A move to the outfield gives him a better chance to hit every day.
By now, it’s obvious who the #1 prospect will be. If you look at different publications, you can see any one of the big three hitters in the Royals system as their number one prospect. It’s one of those good problems to have. Myers is still a fine prospect and will grow to be a great player.
Now he’ll just get a chance to show it in Kansas City a bit sooner than before.
Keep track of the full list of prospects in the Kings of Kauffman Countdown on our Prospect Rankings page under the Organization tab or by clicking here. Stay current on all the Kings of Kauffman content and news by following us on Twitter, Facebook, or by way of our RSS feed.