Expectations were sky high for Rays right fielder Wil Myers entering the season.
The key to a seven-player trade this winter, Myers was coming off a huge season which saw him rank second in the Minors with 37 homers and fourth with 109 RBIs.
Now in a less hitter-friendly environment, MLB.com's No. 4 prospect is starting to show the kind of power that made him such a big target of clubs looking to acquire a top outfielder this offseason.
Myers went 2-for-5 with his team-best seventh homer, a double and five RBIs in the Triple-A Durham Bulls' 11-7 win over the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night.
Both his hits and all of his RBIs came in a nine-run first inning that saw the Bulls send 13 batters to the plate.
Playing right field and batting third, the Rays' top prospect took Bisons starter Ricky Romero deep to center field for a two-run homer to begin the scoring. Then with two outs and the bases loaded against reliever against Chad Beck later in the frame, Myers ripped a three-run double to left field to extend the Bulls' advantage to 9-0.
The outing raised Myers' average to .263 and helped him leapfrog Jason Bourgeois for the team lead with 36 RBIs.
With Monday's outing, Myers is on pace to hit 20 homers and plate 103 runs in the International League, a much tougher environment to hit in than either Omaha's Werner Park in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League or Northwest Arkansas' Arvest Ballpark, the most favorable stadium for sluggers in the Texas League.
Selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2009 Draft, Myers was traded to the Rays along with pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard in the December blockbuster deal that that sent James Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson to Kansas City.
A Futures Game selection for the second consecutive year, Myers was recognized as Topps' PCL Player of the Year and Minor League Player of the Year by both USA Today and Baseball America.
On Monday, Steve Geltz (3-0) earned the win for the Bulls after allowing two runs on a hit and two walks while striking out two batters over 2 1/3 innings. Starter Alex Torres struck out eight batters, but he was chased out of the game in the fifth frame after surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks.
Romero (0-1) gave up eight of the Bulls' nine first-inning runs. He allowed five hits and three walks over two-thirds of an inning. Bisons first baseman Mauro Gomez homered twice and plated four runs.