Wil MyersIs Wil Myers’ still in the minors just to delay his arbitration eligibility? Maybe not. It might also have to do with his high strikeout totals and his complete disregard for the way the Rays want their players to approach hitting.

In a recent column for NewsObserver.com (via WatchingDurhamBullsBaseball), Myers explained that he strikes out a lot because he “is not a good two-strike hitter at all.” In Myers’ mind, his job as a run producer is to drive the ball and he refuses to shorten his swing with two strikes.

“I’m not looking to ‘choke and poke’ up there with two strikes. I’m looking for a ball to drive still. You always hear ‘choke and poke’ with two strikes, but as a middle of the order guy, one of the guys that drives in runs, you’re not really looking to just slap the ball around, just put it in play…If I have a runner on base with two strikes, I’m looking to drive the ball, even with two strikes. I’m looking to put the ball in play hard somewhere to drive the run in.”

The result is Myers has struck out in 29.6% of his plate appearances this season, the highest rate of his career, and not a good sign for his future in the big leagues. Joe Maddon just said yesterday on the MLB Network that he wants his young hitters to balance their strikeouts and walks. Myers has struck out 50 times and walked just 21 times.

But as a run producer, is Myers held to a different standard? Not according to his own manager. When told of Myers’ comments, Charlie Montoyo was described as having the “expression of a frustrated father”…

“We teach the same thing everybody else teaches…We stress it all the way from rookie ball to the big leagues: You have to shorten your swing with two strikes, try to put the ball in play. You would think it makes sense, man, I don’t want to be striking out, there’s no chance for anything. No error, no infield hit or nothing. I wouldn’t say nobody cares (about striking out). Nobody likes striking out, for sure. It’s just the approach: some people are just taking the same hack day in and day out with one strike or two strikes…You have to keep preaching it. You have to say it a thousand times, maybe a thousand and one times until they start listening. Just because a guy doesn’t do it, that doesn’t mean you’re just going to say, never mind. You’ve got to keep saying it, keep working on it.”

So what now? This is an easy fix, but one that will only work if Myers is willing to change. But if he continues to be stubborn, he might be in Durham a lot longer than many of us imagined.

 
 

14 Comments

  1. KT says:

    He’s not really driving the ball a whole lot regardless what the count is, as far as I’ve seen or read. Guy seems pretty stubborn, and pretty egocentric

    • Chris D says:

      I hate to be the “Don” of the Bulls because overall I’m really excited by this team. If Tampa doesn’t raid us (we’ll see), it’s got a chance to be a championship team. I realize that’s not the goal of AAA, but it makes me as a fan happy. But Myers is becoming a player that it’s hard to root for. Which is unfortunate considering the preseason hype.

  2. Dave L says:

    I don’t expect to see him before the expanded roster call ups if at all and I’m fine with that and it does not mean anything with regard to the overall efficacy of the trade.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a spot start from Odorizzi before we see Wil, with the Rays.

    Whats the hurry?

  3. Don says:

    A “savior”he was never ment to be…George Brett told everybody “He needed plenty of Work” of course he was just protecting “KC’s image” for the trade…..
    Rays Trade Down to Save the money…..Like Jennings (call up) replacing CC.. never will happen………..so what’s new?

  4. Mr.Smith 1980 says:

    At the end of the day the truth is still the truth- the kid has been ogled and drooled over for the entirety of his life. His egocentric mentality is a common symptom of great players who feel they’re being unjustly held down.

    But a great man (Evan Longoria) was just recently quoted reiterating that “baseball has a way of humbling you”…

    Myers will be humbled and his potential will be realized, but first he needs to get out of his own way. This sounds backwards, but a trip to the Bigs would help him find (and eat) the humble pie in a hurry. As long as he’s left to ruminate down on the farm he’s just gonna dig in his heels and continue to be too big for his britches.

  5. Don says:

    Does Delmon Young, BJ Upton, and that other moron that was arrested and now broke, Ring any Bells?, Let Him stay where he belongs, until he proves hes “ready”………. and the Rays save money…their objective in the first place…

  6. MarkE says:

    “You have to shorten your swing with two strikes, try to put the ball in play.”

    An interesting quote from Charlie. Because if the Rays had actually used this philosophy the past few years, they’d have had much, much more success. Swinging to be the grand slam hero, or swinging for a walk-off homer has ended many, many a game the wrong way for the Rays. (picture the swing of Upton or Pena with 2 runners on, two outs and down by 2 in the 9th). And don’t come at me with your examples of “walk-off homers”, because for every ONE you can recount, I’ll give you TEN examples of the opposite result.

    You’ll notice this season that Rays batters seem to have FINALLY gotten it. Guys are going opposite field and laying down seeing-eye ground balls at an unprecedented rate. THAT type of cerebral, unselfish batting has been absent the past few years and this season’s offensive numbers have alot to do with turning that philosophy around. You can see it in Longo’s swing, you can see Loney walk to the plate with that mentality every time a runner is on.

    I understand that Longo and Scott are in the lineup to hit for power, and that’s obviously important, but with 2 strikes, in certain situations, don’t take it from me, listen to coach Montoyo, “We stress it all the way from rookie ball to the big leagues: You have to shorten your swing with two strikes, try to put the ball in play. You would think it makes sense, man…”

  7. Rayalan says:

    The problem with this is that the majority of the time Rays are taking the first strike and getting behind in the count right away. This means they have one stike to try to power up on. Makes no sense to me.

    • Drew says:

      Rays are 11th out of 30 teams in first pitch strike percentage (59.6%). A’s are first (56.4%), Brewers are last (63.7%)

  8. Andy says:

    Wil is more than a very highly touted sensation-to-be w/an egocentric mentality. He’s clueless & sensory deprived as well!! Given the Rays’ way of juggling line-ups, what makes him think that he’ll be “a middle of the order guy, one of the guys that drives in runs, . . . not really looking to just slap the ball around, just put it in play”?!! Just look at where Pena hit last year, or Burrell when w/the Rays!! Maybe they started middle of the order, but after shoddy production, they were moved around like all of the other players!! He might be young, but he needs to wake up & smell the coffee!!!

  9. reeni645 says:

    Saw Wil Myers on a road trip to Durham May 5-10.He is NOT impressive and has a higher strike out rate than BJ Upton ever did.

    He also doesn’t follow the more usual rules of baseball such as him running out of his right field territory and crashing into the center fielder (bourois) trying to field a center field ball. Showy and impulsive behavior. His teamate was injured and taken out fo the game. He continued to play looking as though nothing happened. A section of the Durham Athletic Park is labled “Wilville” for his support but didn’t seem to draw many fans.

    The best part was when the announcer would incorrectly call him Will Rhymes (playing AAA Syracuse) the former Bull/Ray.Fans were yelling for Will Rhymes not Wil Myers. Many of the Bulls came out of the dugout or onto the field pre-game to shake hands or hug Will Ryhmes. He is very much missed by his fans and teamates.

    If you get a chance this summer, go on a road trip to Durham. It’s about 625 miles form Tampa..easy drving. Great stadium, not a bad seat in the house and fun atmosphere!

    • Sarah says:

      You saw one game and can tell already that Myers is selfish and “doesn’t follow the usual rules of baseball?” Well, someone should hire you as a scout, because your ability to size up a prospect in one viewing is pretty impressive!

      Seriously, let’s get some perspective here:

      1. Myers is a talented player who will play major league ball. Will he make adjustments enough to be the star we are hoping for? We don’t know.
      2. One reason he is in the minors,still, is to learn to play the outfield. he’s only been playing there for a few seasons, as he started as a catcher.
      3. Let’s not let the fact that he’s still got stuff to work on cause us to write him off as a dissapointment. Baseball is not an easy game, and even the best players need to adjust to each level.
      3. Will Rhymes? Really? You’d rather have Will Rhymes? Fans are pining for Will Rhymes?

  10. TOM says:

    I would hate to be a minor leaguer with the Rays. It takes forever to get promoted to the majors unless your traded, like Ruggiano & Dietrich. I think the last one was Jennings other than pitchers. Its pretty bad when they sign players like Matsui rather than promote there own players.

  11. Illadelph says:

    Complete speculation. June he comes. June he hits or doesnt.

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