The expectations are sky-high for Wil Myers as he debuts in the majors leagues, and Rays fans were looking for big things even in his first MLB plate appearance. Unfortunately, that first at-bat did not go so well.
In his first trip into a big league batter’s box, Myers came up in a big spot, two on and nobody out. He got a first-pitch fastball on the outer part of the plate and misguided tried to pull it, leading to a soft popout to short left-center. He didn’t strike out as he had been much-maligned for at Triple-A, and that’s a positive, but he hit the ball so weakly and he is certainly capable of whole lot more than that.
Myers can clearly feel the pressure. His first at-bat showed exactly that. He had a pitch knee-high on the outer half that he should have taken the other way but instead tried to pull the ball and drive out of the park. Hopefully next time he’ll just come to the plate just like he would have at Durham and show the same approach that has made him such a highly-regarded player.
What’s the symbolism of all this? You could say that Myers hit the ball in the air and we expected greatness, and he’s going to fall far short. But a more interesting interpretation is that we are expecting crazy things from Myers right from the start, and we have to come in and lower our expectations. No matter how talented he is, he’s still a rookie, and adjusting to the major leagues will take time. If we keep our hopes reasonable, though, it will not take long for Myers to meet them, and before long he will exceed them. One plate appearance is nothing. Let’s see what Myers can do with a little time.