Jun 24, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers (9) walks back to the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wil Myers and the Changeup

With virtually every prospect, there is an adjustment period. Even the higher levels of the minor leagues are nothing like facing major league talent, regardless of what side one finds themselves. Any potential holes or weaknesses tend to be exploited more often in the majors. In the case of Wil Myers, that weakness has been the strikeout.

Essentially, it appears as though opposing pitchers are using Myers’ aggressiveness against him. Myers is swinging at 32.1% of all pitches thrown to him, far above the major league average of 26%. In fact, that corresponds to his percentage of strikes that he swings at, as his 76.8% is also above the league average.

At this point, the biggest issue for Myers seems to be recognizing a good major league changeup. In his plate appearances, he appears to be ready for the fastball and breaking pitches, but seems to be consistently ahead of the change. This was particularly evident in Monday night’s game against the Astros, where he struck out twice on excellent changeups by Dallas Keuchel and Paul Clemens. Perhaps he is cheating for the fastball, or maybe he is being fooled by the action of the pitcher, but he has continually missed a good changeup this year. Pitchers just seem to be using his aggressiveness against him, and have gotten him out on the softer offerings.

As part of the maturation process, Myers will hopefully begin to adjust to what pitchers are doing. He has displayed an ability to do so already, hitting a home run off a slider in the next at bat after striking out on the same pitch. The next step in that process is likely to learn to watch for the changeup, and to be ready for it, instead of sitting on the fastball.

Wil Myers has begun to make adjustments to what major league pitchers have been doing to him. Being able to hit the changeup is the next step to that process.

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  • jimfetterolf

    History on Myers is that he struggles against off-speed stuff in the minors, so might be a challenge in the majors, as well as the adjustment to adult sized ballparks. Omaha distorted his power, a lot of his homers in the PCL would have been fly outs in KC. Good luck to him and thanks for Shields, Davis, and Johnson.

    • Dave Hill

      I was curious if that was an issue for him at AAA as well when his strikeouts spiked. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can make an adjustment or not.

    • Joey

      Wow then I guess Myers is in real trouble because in the entire history of Major League Baseball no player has ever been able to make an adjustment from the minors to the majors. Your comment sure has a jealous tone. Davis is great in the pen but not as a starter. You can have Johnson’s career .200 average, and what good is shields when there’s zero support around him.

  • Aaron Somers

    Nice observation Dave. I have to wonder if teams will start to figure this out about him in the coming weeks as he starts to face pitchers for a second or third time around. He’ll have to adjust, but that was to be inevitable anyway.