Passan: Rays and Royals Have Discussed Myers Trade | The Process Report

Passan: Rays and Royals Have Discussed Myers Trade

The Royals and Rays have discussed a trade involving Kansas City’s top prospect Wil Myers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Looking to contend in 2013, the Royals have set their minds on acquiring a frontline starting pitcher to slot ahead of Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, and Luke Hochevar. They are reportedly willing to part with Myers, Baseball America’s 2012 minor-league player of the year, in order to net this pitcher.

When looking for starting pitching, Tampa Bay is a good place to start. The Rays have plenty of it, and after last season’s offensive shortcomings, they may finally be willing to part with a piece or two. Wil Myers is exactly the type of player they should target in return.

The Royals picked Myers in the third round of the 2009 draft. His talent was worthy of a first-round selection, but there were questions about his signability. Kansas City took the plunge in round three and convinced him to turn pro with a $2 million signing bonus.

Myers breezed through the lower levels of the minor leagues before making his full-season debut in 2011. His raw numbers took a bit of a hit but he took the higher competition in stride, and continued to flash above-average skills at the plate. Myers began the 2012 season back in Double-A and quickly forced a promotion. More than half of his Texas League hits went for extra bases.

After 35 games—and 13 home runs—the Royals promoted Myers to Triple-A, where the hits parade continued. Playing at the highest level of the minor leagues, Myers hit 69 extra-base hits in 591 combined plate appearances in 2012—including 37 home runs. He hit over .300, and walked more than 10 percent of the time.

There are few questions about Myers’ offensive potential. A smooth stroke and striking bat speed should allow the 21-year-old to hit for average and power at the next level. He uses his lower half and strong hands to spray the ball to all fields. His pitch recognition and plate discipline skills are also sound. Myers projects to hit in the middle of a lineup, and has All-Star potential.

Myers’ defensive position was still a mystery entering the season. Originally a catcher, he moved to the outfield in 2011. In 2012, he continued to the transition, adding third base to his resume. A solid 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, he showed enough athleticism to primarily play center field this year. His long-term home figures to be right field, where he has enough range to cover the required ground and the arm strength needed to play the position. He generally receives good marks as a runner even though he does not possess top-shelf speed.

Projections and potential are not guarantees. As much as scouts love Myers, there is a chance he flames out in the majors. But that risk of attrition exists any time a player is acquired, be it prospect or veteran. The Rays have been careful in holding on to their pitching depth. Myers, with the potential for short- and long-term value, is the type of player that may loosen their grip.

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