The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived – Wil Myers is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. As it stands presently, looking at the Rays lineup, one could potentially state that Myers is one of the better hitters there without his having played a game. But what can the Rays reasonably expect from Myers, now that he will make his debut Tuesday against the Red Sox?
Myers was certainly hot over his last three and a half weeks for Durham, producing an absurd .347/.379/.747 slash line in his last 103 plate appearances. He also hit ten home runs, six doubles, had 32 RBIs and stole five bases as he put a hurting on AAA pitching. Yet, there may still be some cause for concern, as he had twenty strikeouts over that same time frame.
The Rays have 93 games left in their season. Myers should see a lot of action during that stretch, but there is also the caveat that Joe Maddon likes to use all of his players. Plus, the Rays have Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce, who majority of the time in right field. Since Ryan Roberts was optioned to Durham to make room for Myers, Zobrist will likely see more time at second, which opens up more playing time in right for Myers. Zobrist will move around all over the field to guarantee that Myers plays basically every day. The Rays certainly didn’t call up Myers to sit him on the bench for any period of time.
Given the Rays remaining schedule, that would give him roughly 70 to 75 games as a rough approximation for his playing time. With that, it may be reasonable to figure that he can hit around .260 with somewhere around ten to fifteen home runs while stealing an occasional base. He will also likely strike out a good amount, now that he is facing major league pitchers. If he can make adjustments at the plate, and cut down on his strikeouts, then Myers could end up being another piece in what has been a surprisingly potent Rays lineup.
Given Wil Myers status as a top prospect, and a power hitting outfielder at that, expectations for his debut and the rest of the season may be understandably high, especially given how he performed at Durham. However, the reality is, his major league numbers are fairly unlikely to approach that level, at least at the beginning of his career. Even though a .260 batting average and between ten to fifteen home runs may be thought of as disappointing, those numbers would be perfectly acceptable with the way the Rays offense has produced this year. Anything beyond that would just be a bonus.