Rays Promote Wil Myers; Option Ryan Roberts | The Process Report

Rays Promote Wil Myers; Option Ryan Roberts

The Rays have promoted outfielder Wil Myers to the majors, according to a team release. Infielder Ryan Roberts has been demoted to Durham in a corresponding move.

Myers was acquired in last winter’s James Shields trade. The 22-year-old corner outfielder’s power potential is his calling card. He creates the pop using a formula consisting of a large frame, strong hands, and strong wrists. In addition to the impressive raw strength Myers employs a mature approach at the plate, though there have been knocks against him in this area before, including accusations of passiveness—and, most recently Andrew Friedman’s suggestion that sequencing caused his early-season stumbles. Myers is going to strike out, but his power potential and on-base ability could be enough for him to become a middle-of-the-order staple. Add in seeming improvements in the nuanced aspects of defense, and Myers should be a more well-rounded player now than when the Rays acquired.

It’s important to keep in mind Myers’ age when dreaming up expected production. Since the last round of expansion, in 1998, 11 22-year-old players have accumulated 300 or more plate appearances in a season while playing with an American League East team. Those players were Brett Lawrie, Travis Snider, Evan Longoria, Adam Jones, Melky Cabrera, B.J. Upton, Nick Markakis, Robinson Cano, Rocco Baldelli, Carl Crawford, and Felipe Lopez. They put together a median line of .273/.323/.448. The league-average right fielder is hitting .270/.334/.443 this season; meaning, were Myers to replicate that line—and, to be fair, he may outperform it—he would be close to an average hitter for his position (though park factors would push him upward).

Waiting until mid-June to promote Myers became a point of consternation within and outside of the fan base, but it’s hard to take too much issue with it. The Rays have successfully evaded the Super Two window, which, like it or not, is a point of emphasis given the budget restraints at play. At the same time the team has remained competitive and offensively sound—they entered Sunday with the majors’ fifth-best offense, per OPS+—without their top hitting prospect in the fold. There’s also Joe Maddon’s pet theory about young players feeling less pressure when recalled midseason, as opposed to being on the opening day roster. (Whether that’s hot air or a valid hypothesis is up for debate, but Maddon doesn’t typically toss theories like that out without some thought behind them.) Add in that the Rays retained control over the rest of their roster in the process, and it’s a decent situation to be in.



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