Wilmington, DE - It's not often a team can land a player from the draft and have him rise to become a top-five prospect in all of minor league baseball. To have a player be considered a generational player is rare for many teams to have. However, for the Kansas City Royals, that's what they had when Wil Myers was part of the farm system.
Myers was drafted in the third round in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft from Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point North Carolina. He joined Wilmington in 2010 as a 19-year-old after putting solid numbers up with Low-A Burlington. Playing as one of the youngest in the Carolina League, the youngster didn't waver. In 58 games, the then catcher hit .346 with four homers and 38 RBIs. He finished with a respectable .453 on-base percentage and .506 slugging percentage. The 2011 season saw Myers transition from behind the plate to roaming the outfield in Double-A Northwest Arkansas while 2012 was when Meyers reached Triple-A. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis during the season.
Midway through the 2013 season, Myers earned a promotion to the big league club and made his debut against the Boston Red Sox on June 18. Four days later, he hit his first home run in impressive style as he cracked a grand slam against CC Sabathia at Yankees Stadium. The outfielder continued to make his presence felt with one of the best rookie campaigns despite playing in just 88 games. Myers hit .293 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs during that span. He also became the first player to lead AL rookies in RBIs in fewer than 90 games since 1946. In addition, he became the first player in AL history to win Rookie of the Year with fewer than 100 games played and just the second in MLB history, joining Ryan Howard who won NL Rookie of the year in 2005. He led all rookies in the junior circuit in doubles (23) and extra-base hits (36).
In 2014, Myers suffered a wrist injury and played in just 87 games, hitting .222 with six homers and 35 runs batted in. As quickly as Myers was beginning to make an impact with the Rays, it abruptly ended in the following offseason. In somewhat of a shocking trade, Myers was involved in a mega three-team swap that involved the Rays, Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres. Myers was the centerpiece of the transaction and headed to sunny San Diego.
Penciled in as the Padres Opening Day center fielder, he played the opening month before his left wrist suffered two separate injuries that essentially kept him on the disabled list from early May to the first week of September. He wound up playing in just 60 games, the fewest in his short career, and hit .253 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs. Returning for his second season with the Padres, Myers was able to get back to his Rookie of the Year form in 2016 after suffering injury-riddled seasons the past two years.
That season, he missed all but five games and put together his first complete season in his career. Although the batting average was a modest .259, the power numbers were certainly solid. He made his first All-Star game and participated in the Home Run Derby. He smashed 28 home runs that year; more than his first three years combined (27), and drove in 94 runs. He paced the Padres lineup in both categories. Heading into 2017, Myers was rewarded by the Padres for his on-field success with a lucrative six-year, $83 million contract. In his four years in the MLB, Myers is a .257 hitter with 55 home runs and 211 RBIs.
Wilmington opens its 2017 campaign at Frawley Stadium on Thursday, April 6 against the Potomac Nationals. Season seats, mini plans and group packages for the Blue Rocks' 25th season are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit the team's website at www.BlueRocks.com. To learn more about what is on tap for the Rocks' 25th season celebration, check out www.BlueRocks/25thseason.com.
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball
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