The timing could not be better. The Rays have been scuffling as of late, dropping six of their last eight games and are seemingly on the verge of drifting out of contention in a tough American League East. As the Rays are seemingly in need of a spark, along comes the news that uber prospect Wil Myers has been called up to the majors. Myers, a power hitting prospect unlike any player that has been in the Rays system since Evan Longoria, is slated to make his debut Tuesday. If this was a Hollywood script, Myers would instantly become one of the top hitters in the league, and carry the Rays on his back into the postseason.
Alas, real life does not work as Hollywood would have one believe. In fact, the very premise that Myers may be what the Rays need to carry them into the postseason appears to be flawed. The reason is that the Rays happen to have one of the better offenses in the league. Through Sunday, they rank sixth in runs scored, walks and on base percentage in all of baseball, and are seventh in slugging. They are in the top half of the league in batting average, and have one of the best home run per at bat rates in baseball. The offense has not been the problem.
What the Rays need to salvage their season is for David Price to come back in the same form he displayed over the previous two seasons. They need Jeremy Hellickson to pitch like he did in 2011 and 2012. They need Alex Cobb and Matt Moore to regain their form from the start of this season. And they need Fernando Rodney to locate his plantain and be the dominant closer he was last season.
What Wil Myers will likely provide is another power bat in the lineup, and help make an already solid offense that much better. But unless Myers can throw in the upper 90’s with a knee buckling curveball and a devastating changeup, he is not likely to be the key to saving the Rays season. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Myers will end up being the savior for the Rays this season–just a complementary piece to an already impressive lineup. Instead of being a savior, Myers will become just another one of the guys, and while the pressure upon him will be high, the fact that his performance won’t make or break the Rays’ season could ease the tension for him significantly.