2017 Projection: Can Wil Myers Replicate His 2016 Breakout?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

After years of speculation, Wil Myers finally appeared to put things together in 2016. While there certainly were some bumps along the way, and he’s hardly a given to replicate the numbers, it’s impossible to call it anything but a successful season:

599 At Bats
.259 Batting Average (155 Hits)
28 Home Runs
94 RBI
99 Runs
28 Stolen Bases
.336 On Base Percentage
.461 Slugging Percentage
.305 Batting Average on Balls in Play

There was a dramatic falloff in his production as the season progressed, which will certainly lead to questions to his upside potential heading into 2017:

  • First Half – .286 with 19 HR and 15 SB over 339 AB
  • Second Half – .223 with 9 HR and 13 SB over 260 AB

In regards to his batting average, he saw a spike in his strikeouts (20.6% to 27.6%).  That said, it’s not like he was swinging for the fences as his fly ball rate decreased (35.6% to 31.3%).  He also showed an ability to consistently make contact against every type of pitch (a 12.46% Whiff% against breaking balls was his highest mark).  For his career he owns a 23.8% strikeout rate and owned a career best 8.0% SwStr% and a solid 26.2% O-Swing% last season.  In other words, he has all the makings of a solid strikeout rate.

While the power also regressed, his HR/FB was consistent (20.2% and 16.1%).  The regression came due to the decline in fly balls and the increase in strikeouts, the latter of which we already know should not be a continued problem.  For his career he owns a 34.6% fly ball rate, so that too shouldn’t be a major concern.

Petco Park concerns?  He hit 18 of his home runs at home, while adding 20 doubles and 3 triples.  Maybe he doesn’t develop into a 30+ HR hitter, but with the obvious power upside seeing him reach 23-27 should be considered a given.

How about the stolen base total, which may have been the most surprising number of them all.  It’s not something that he had ever shown before, and while it was consistent last season can we really expect the same type of production?  Could he still sneak a few and contribute 15+?  Absolutely, but banking on more than that would likely be a mistake.

So will he likely regress from his terrific 2016 campaign?  Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to fall off a cliff either.  It all comes together for the following 2017 projection:

.273 (164-600), 24 HR, 95 RBI, 85 R, 18 SB, .320 BABIP, .349 OBP, .462 SLG

Would anyone really complain about that type of line? 

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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