Sky-High Expectations The Only Thing Awaiting Rays’ Wil Myers in Triple-A
By Robbie Knopf
We could see it coming. Wil Myers is one of the very best prospects in baseball, and on a team in the Rays that has never had a very good lineup, a topflight hitter like Myers would be a godsend. However, winning this season isn’t the only thing the Rays are juggling with their small payroll- winning the long-term is the ultimate goal and the Rays are singularly focused on that. Sending Myers to Triple-A to begin 2013 is a perfect example as the Rays look to keep Myers under team control for another year and keep him from becoming Super Two-eligible by keeping him in the minors for a certain amount of time. But just Myers is getting sent down to begin the year doesn’t mean the expectations are any lower.
When it’s Opening Day, there’s a certain electricity in the air absorbing everyone in the stadium. When a top prospect comes up for his first game, it’s a similar feeling. If Myers was on the roster to begin the season, his coming up would only be portion of the excitement. Instead, when he comes up, the stadium will be filled (something the Rays will certainly like), and once he arrives and even while he’s still at Triple-A, the microscope will be placed squarely on him. If Wil Myers gets off to a slow start at Triple-A, thousands of articles will be written (including at this site) and Rays fans will begin to panic. As pundits desperately attempt to explain that it’s only jitters and he’ll be fine, Andrew Friedman will be ripped by people everywhere, James Shields‘ departure will be mourned and screamed about all over the Tampa Bay area (even though the Rays’ pitching staff will be doing great), and before he even gets a chance to prove his doubters wrong, he’ll be dismissed as a bust by thousands of people saying that they knew the Rays shouldn’t have made the Rays.
On the other hand, if Myers does well, fans will constantly be chanting and berating the Rays to bring him up to the major leagues, especially if the Rays’ offense goes through a rough stretch like what happens to every team in baseball, and that will only put the pressure on Myers even more. The first question for every question and answer session between the Rays and a media will be “do you have any idea when Wil Myers will be called up?” and if the Rays don’t make that happen quickly, fans will be angry and writers will seize the opportunity to rip the Rays for not doing whatever it takes to win ballgames. Facing that type of pressure is incomprehensible for any 22 year old, even one as talented as Myers. Myers was an incredible prospect in the Royals organization as well and he’s been dealing with the expectations of being a top prospect for a long time. However, he’s never seen anything like this.
The expectations for Wil Myers at Triple-A will be as high as any player in baseball. The good news, though, is that he’s good enough to meet those expectations and even go beyond them. Fans have to be feeling a nervous excitement as Myers gets set to play his first official games in the Rays organization and make a push for the Rays’ major league roster. The pressure on Myers will reach unimaginable levels and fans will immediately expect results from the moment he’s called up, but the Rays are confident that Myers can take it. Tith Myers being the never-ending storyline for who knows how long, look for an action-packed season that promises to be the most exhilarating in Rays history.