Wil Myers: 3 Things You Need to Know on Tampa Bay Rays New Prospect

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

Aug 18, 2012; Papillion, NE, USA; Omaha Storm Chasers center fielder Wil Myers (8) prepares to hit in the third inning against the Nashville Sounds at Werner Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals sent shock waves throughout Major League Baseball Sunday night by agreeing on a blockbuster multi-player trade.

The Royals confirmed the deal via Twitter:

#Royals acquire RHPs James Shields, Wade Davis and player to be named or cash from Tampa Bay for Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard.

— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) December 10, 2012

Shields and Davis are the most noteworthy names in terms of MLB experience here, but Wil Myers is the real prize.

Baseball fans waited patiently for Kansas City to bring up its touted power-hitting prospect last season, but that time never came. Now, with B.J. Upton joining the Atlanta Braves, Myers will have a very real chance to win a starting position with his new team immediately.

Some Rays fans may be upset to see Shields go, but this was an excellent move by general manager Andrew Friedman.

Myers is the real deal, and it's time for Rays fans to learn a few things about their new toy.


Big-Time Power

Myers is arguably the best power-hitting prospect in the minor leagues, and he's earned that reputation.

While splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A last season, he boasted a slash line of .314/.387/.600. He also hit a combined 37 home runs and brought in 109 RBI.

That shouldn't surprise anyone either. In his four minor league seasons, he's hit .303 with 64 home runs, 259 RBI and has a slugging percentage of .522. He's proved himself, and that's why NBC's Craig Calcaterra refers to him as "one of the stronger power prospects to come around in a long time."

This is important for a Rays team that desperately needs some power infused into their lineup. Myers hasn't proved himself at the major league level yet, but his reputation shows that he's more than worth the shot.

If his power translates, he's worth the price by himself.


Tendency to Swing and Miss

Myers isn't perfect, though. Like most young players, he must work on his plate discipline.

Last season, between two minor league levels, he struck out 140 times in 522 at-bats. In 2011, he struck out 87 times in 354 at-bats. Those numbers could be worse, but no one is going to mistake this kid for a contact hitter anytime soon.

That's probably fine for the Rays. They traded for his power above all else, but high strikeout rates can become an issue. Seeing that those numbers happened in the minors, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the pitching at the major league level.

It will be important to keep an eye on this. Myers wouldn't be the first power-hitting prospect to come up, struggle to connect and lose some of his confidence.

If he has a flaw, this is it.


Six Years of Team Control

This is the juiciest part of the deal right here. Shields is eligible to be a free agent in 2014. Myers is under control for six more years, according to Calcaterra.

Nothing is more important than team control, especially for a low-budget team like the Rays. This is how they compete, and that's what makes this trade so important. It's also worth noting that Jake Odorizzi is under control for six years as well.

Knowing that Myers will be around for the foreseeable future allows the Rays to do some planning. It also allows them to develop him without worrying that he's going to move on to greener pastures.

Six years is an eternity in baseball. By then, the Rays could have made another shrewd move to keep themselves in contention.

This is really the factor that swings the deal in Tampa Bay's favor. Because Myers is major league-ready now, the team can really enjoy those six years.