Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Level: Class AAA (Durham)
DOB: 12/10/1990 (Age: 22)
Drafted: Third round, 91st overall, 2009 (High Point, NC)
MLB.com 2013 Prospect Rank: 4
2013 Stats: .276 BA, 3 HR, 17 RBI, .429 SLG, .805 OPS
The Tampa Bay Rays seem perfectly content to keep top hitting prospect Wil Myers right where he is—for now.
The Rays aren't keen on starting Myers' service clock just yet, which gives them an extra year of team control. He's not quite off to the sizzling start seen last year when he ended up with 37 home runs and 109 RBI, but he's holding his own with a .276 average and three homers.
ESPN.com's Jim Bowden believes that the Rays should take a chance and lock in Myers to a long-term deal now.
However, fair or not, there’s an argument for leaving Myers in the minors: It saves the Rays a year of Myers’ service time, or in other words, they get to control him for one additional year. But even then, there remains a chance he could qualify as a “Super Two” (more on that later).
The solution? Sign Myers to a long-term deal similar in length to (Evan) Longoria's and (Matt) Moore's, but for obviously less money since Myers has no major-league service time.
It’s not conventional, but it simply circumvents the arbitration process, gets Myers in the Rays’ lineup perhaps sooner than expected and could save the Rays millions of dollars in the long run. True, Myers hasn’t taken a single pitch or collected his first hit in the major leagues, but Moore and Longoria hadn’t done much more than that before they earned their first long-term deals. Myers has that kind of talent and deserves the same kind of approach. His bat speed, path to the ball and loud sweet spot contact the other way are elite. Everything he’s done to this point projects him as an impact run producer.
It certainly worked out for Moore and Longoria, so why not?