One of the problems with projecting prospects is that, despite anyone’s best attempts to extrapolate results based off minor league statistics, these players are still human. Unlike a computer simulation where one can predict the results by plugging numbers into a formula, such things as mindset, maturity and the ability to make adjustments are important factors in whether or not a prospect reaches his potential.
That ability to make adjustments may be the biggest reason as to why the Rays should be excited about Wil Myers. Although he has 12 strikeouts against one walk in 46 plate appearances, he has begun to show that he can adapt to what major league pitchers are attempting to do against him.
Just look at how Myers fared last night against Max Scherzer, one of the top pitchers in the American League thus far. After striking out on a slider in his first at bat, Myers hammered a slider from Scherzer in his next plate appearance, crushing it for a home run down the left field line. In his third at bat, Myers lined a pitch on the outside edge of the plate to right for a single.
Even though Myers struck out on a borderline pitch in the ninth last night, he appears to have an understanding of what pitchers are trying to do. Granted, it is a small sample size, but over his last six games, Myers is hitting .375 with three home runs and seven RBIs. He has still struck out a lot, eight times in 24 at bats, but that rate may decrease the more acclimated he gets to major league pitching. Most importantly, Myers is not appearing to be overmatched by the competition, and held his own against one of the best this season last night.
Just because someone is a top prospect does not mean that they are guaranteed to have success in the major leagues. In fact, there is quite the long list of players who, for whatever reason, just were unable to tap into their potential. However, Wil Myers has shown the capability to adapt in his short time in Tampa. That ability may be the biggest key as to whether or not he will become the player that Rays fans hope he will be.