We were waiting for so long and it seemed like no end was in sight. As Wil Myers dominated Triple-A pitching, the Rays’ offense continued to impress as well and we never got the feeling that the Rays felt like they needed Myers. And then on Sunday, it happened. The Rays called up Myers and Myers couldn’t be any more thrilled.
"“It’s very exciting,” Myers said Monday night, while standing near the airport taxi stand. “Everything I’ve worked for all my life is finally coming true.”"
All the focus was on the Rays regarding the Myers situation–how much he could help them, how much they were losing by keeping him in the minor leagues. But it had to be quite a mental toll for Myers as well. He was coming off a season spent primarily at the Royals’ Triple-A Omaha affiliate that saw him hit .314 with 37 home runs yet he just could not crack the Rays’ major league roster. He had to wonder whether the team thought he wasn’t good enough and whether he had met expectations since the Rays made the blockbuster trade that acquired him. Everything was validated, though, when Myers finally got the call.
"“I really felt good the last homestand,” Myers said. “I felt good at the plate, I was recognizing pitches early. I was laying off good pitches, all out of the strike zone, I felt like a big-league hitter at the plate. It was one of those things that once the Rays saw I was ready, it would be time.”"
We can’t be certain why Myers was kept in the minor leagues for so long. Did it have to do with the money? Did they not think he was ready? Were they just waiting for a spot that was supposed to open up but never did as the offense was playing so well? Whatever the case was, Myers spent the last several weeks improving as a player and building confidence. The comment “I felt like a big league hitter” has to remind you of Joe Maddon‘s third stage: “I belong here (in the major leagues), I can do this.” Myers had to believe that it was only a matter of time and that if he did enough, the call-up would finally happen–and sure enough it did. Whatever Myers went through, it’s over now and his major league career is beginning. His development continues in the major leagues, but he’s ready for the majors and ready to succeed. Today we’ll begin to see firsthand just how good he can be.