by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Prior to the season I wrote an article entitled “Why Wil Myers Is Far From A Can’t Miss Prospect And A Must Own Fantasy Option” (which you can view by clicking here). While part of the concern was Tampa Bay keeping Myers in the minors early in the season, which did ultimately happen, that was far from the only concern. Included in the article I mentioned:
- An elevated strikeout rate in the upper minors
- An average due to a high BABIP
- Power that could’ve come courtesy of his time in the PCL
Early on Myers was making me look incredibly wrong, but he has fallen on hard times of late. He hit .209 in August, as his strikeout rate rose (28.7%) while his line drives (15.5%) and home runs (9.5% HR/FB) disappeared. Now, the question facing fantasy owners is if he can turn it back around or if this could continue the rest of the season.
The strikeouts are a major concern, as he is currently sitting at 25.3% rate for the season, after posting a mark of 24.6% at Triple-A prior to his recall. Throw in a .348 BABIP, which still has room for regression, and it is very likely that Myers struggles to hit for a high average over the remainder of the season. While he’s not going to be as bad as August, something in the .240-.260 range should be viewed as realistic.
The power is a little bit different. Even at Triple-A this season (now the International League) he posted a 25.0% HR/OFB rate. In other words, his 20.5% mark in the Majors is not unrealistic in the least.
His OFB is about league average at 25.5% (the average is 25.7%), so while the rate is realistic the power production may not immense. Could he hit 4-5 HR? Absolutely, but it also wouldn’t be shocking if it was just one or two.
Plus, with the Rays now in a dog fight for the final wild card spot in the AL, can they afford to keep a slumping Myers in the lineup? They aren’t a team afraid to mix things up, which means if he doesn’t start hitting again soon he could quickly find himself on the bench more and more.
There is no questioning the talent, but for the remainder of the season he could quickly become a virtually useless option whether it be due to lack of playing time or continued struggles. If you haven’t planned for it already, make sure you have an alternative in place as he is far from a guarantee to rebound.
Sources – Fangraphs, Minor League Central