Wil Myers of the Kansas City Royals was named the Minor League Player Of The Year today by Baseball America. A quick glance at the 21-year-old’s numbers over 591 plate appearances at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, and the news should come as no surprise.
Myers bashed 37 home runs, slugged .600 and got on base in almost 39% of his plate appearances across both levels. He will most likely be listed atop the majority of the prospect ranking lists that come out ahead of the 2013 season, and no, your favorite team will not be able to acquire him for your three least favorite bats off the bench.
Here is what some of the more respected prospect pundits have said:
According to Keith Law of ESPN:
Myers … can flat-out hit, and if we weren’t all so busy asking how Mike Trout went only 25th in the 2009 draft, we might be asking how Myers ended up in the third round. (Money was one of the reasons, of course.) Now that last year’s knee injury is well behind him, his lower half is working more like it used to, allowing him to drive the ball to all fields. He has a simple, natural swing, with great ability to manipulate the bat, and has shown he can hit all kinds of pitching.
According to Kevin Goldstein, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, and now the Houston Astros:
One of the best pure hitters in the minors, Myers combines an excellent approach at the plate with a lightning-quick bat and rapidly developing power. He’s not a runner, but he has everything it takes to be a middle-of-the-order impact bat.
According to John Sickels of Minor League Ball:
Myers is a 6-3, 205 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born December 10, 1990. Although his speed is down a tick since high school and he’s not going to steal a ton of bases, he runs well for a bigger player, well enough that the Royals have played him in center field this year. As befits a former catcher, he has a strong, right field quality throwing arm, although he’s still working on the finer points of outfield play.
It is with the bat that Myers truly shines. Last summer he had difficulty with pitches inside, but adjustments to his batting stance closed up that hole. Having a healthy knee also helps, and Pacific Coast League observers report that pitchers haven’t been able to find the key to getting Myers out consistently this year. He was very aggressive in the Texas League before his promotion, but has actually shown a better feel for contact in Triple-A. He works counts when necessary, but will jump on anything hittable, showing power to all fields. A few observers questioned his effort on the field last summer, but that hasn’t been an issue this year. Again, the knee may have had something to do with that.