MVP award caps Myers' All-Star week

Royals prospect arrives from Futures Game in nick of time

By Guy Curtright / Special to | July 11, 2012 6:53 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Wil Myers was the last player to make it to the Triple-A All-Star Game, but he arrived with the highest prospect profile.

Myers, who played in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Kansas City, may be calling Kauffman Stadium home soon.

"I'd be lying if I didn't think about the call every day," the Omaha Storm Chasers outfielder said. "Anytime I take the field now, I wonder if it is my last game."

Following up his impressive performance in the Futures Game, Myers was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in the Pacific Coast League's 3-0 victory over the International League on Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Field to win Star of Star honors for his team.

The 21-year-old is on the verge of a Major League shot, and that is obvious to everyone.

"These last few days have been a lot of fun," he said.

Myers,'s No. 14 prospect, is tied for the Minor League lead with 27 homers and has a .327 average with 72 RBIs in 83 games across Triple-A and Double-A this season.

The Royals need another power bat and Myers could fit the bill. He drew the loudest cheers at the Futures Game, getting a standing ovation his first time up, and didn't disappoint the Royals' fans.

Myers drove in three runs with two singles and a sacrifice fly in Team USA's 17-5 rout of the World squad as he batted third and played the whole game in right field.

He also impacted the ESPN telecast, with his foul back breaking a camera behind the plate. But that was the only thing that didn't go right.

"It was a lot of fun," Myers said. "I had a great time. It was my second Futures Game and it was by far the best."

Now, though, comes the reality of returning to the Minor Leagues, no matter how brief that stay may be for Kansas City's No. 2 prospect.

"It is definitely hard to come back and play after the experience I had there playing in the big league stadium," said Myers, a 2009 third-round pick who received a $2 million bonus to turn down a scholarship to the University of South Carolina.

The North Carolina native was a catcher before moving to the outfield last year and had a disappointing season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He suffered a knee injury and was limited to 99 games, batting just .254. Triple-A hasn't cooled him off. He has a .315 average with 14 homers and 42 RBIs in 48 games with Omaha. Most impressively, Myers boasts a combined 1.079 OPS.

No wonder Kansas City fans are excited.

"It's hard, but I try not get too caught up in that," he said. "Right now, I just want to go out there, have good at-bats and keep getting better."

The Triple-A All-Star Game was a three-day event, but Myers missed virtually all of the activities. He drove back to Omaha from Kansas City and his flight to Buffalo didn't arrive until late Tuesday afternoon.

"I bagged it early and went to bed," he said. "I was exhausted."

In brief

Shorthanded: The International League, which suited up only 24 players, was without four of the 14 who claimed roster spots in voting by players, team staffs and the media. Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, designated hitter Mauro Gomez and right-hander Justin Germano were called up from Pawtucket by the Red Sox. The IL also was without injured Charlotte outfielder Greg Golson. The Pacific Coast League, meanwhile, had all 14 of its top selectees, with 27 players available.

Managerial repeat: Mike Sarbaugh of the International League was the first skipper to lead consecutive teams in the Triple-A All-Star Game. He earned the encore after leading Columbus to a second straight victory in the Triple-A National Championship Game a year ago. The Clippers were the home team in that game in Albuquerque because the IL won the 2011 All-Star Game, 3-0. This is Sarbaugh's third year at Columbus, where he had a 167-121 record heading into the season.

Crowd pleaser: Pacific Coast League skipper Marty Brown of Las Vegas managed Buffalo for three seasons, leading the Bisons to the 2004 Governors' Cup title. But he's also part of Buffalo baseball lore. To win a bet at the inaugural Triple-A All-Star Game in 1988, he did an Ozzie Smith-like back flip as he took his position at third base. Unfortunately, that was the highlight for Brown, who was picked off to end the game.

Special pitch: Tom Seaver threw a ceremonial first pitch to Ryne Sandberg, creating a Hall of Fame battery. Seaver, who won 311 games over 20 seasons, was the keynote speaker at the All-Star luncheon on Wednesday that attracted a sellout gathering of 900. Sandberg, in his second season as Lehigh Valley manager, served as an International League coach. "It's going to be fun to see him and to catch that first pitch," Sandberg said Tuesday. "Let's see what he throws me. It might even be a cut fastball." Actually, it was a semi-fastball that was just a little inside.

Guy Curtright is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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