Kansas City Royals fans may want to look away, because Wil Myers is proving to be a fantastic young star for the Tampa Bay Rays, and he proved that once again on Wednesday night with a massive two-home run performance.
The Rays had struggled on offense coming into the series with the Los Angeles Angels, and Myers himself had been mired in a slump which saw his batting average fall from .326 down to .280 in just over two weeks.
But he found his rhythm against Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver, driving in three runs on two home runs in a 3-1 victory for the Rays.
Royals fans aren't entirely happy about all this, as they gave up the young slugger to acquire pitcher James Shields this past offseason and yet still find themselves outside of the playoffs, looking up the standings at the Rays and their former top prospect in Myers.
Grantland's Rany Jazayerli is among the Kansas City fans who aren't pleased with Myers' progress.
I wonder why the people wondering why I haven't tweeted about Wil Myers, haven't tweeted wondering why I haven't tweeted about Wil Myers.— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) September 5, 2013
But Tampa Bay fans and casual observers alike had a lot of great things to say about Myers' performance. Here are a few of my favorites.
As Jason Collette of Rotowire points out, Myers seemed to find a groove against a pitcher with a similar fashion sense.
Wil Myers wins the battle of hair for the 2nd time off Weaver. 2 big blasts— jasoncollette (@jasoncollette) September 5, 2013
But for Myers, the most talked about part of his style is his signature bat flip after slamming his home runs.
Wil Myers has an awesome bat flip.— WI Sports Blog (@WISportsBlog) September 5, 2013
Wil Myers clearly has the best bat flip in the league.— Colby Conetta (@colbyconetta) September 5, 2013
Myers isn't all about style, however. His home runs were quite impressive, especially in terms of length. ESPN's Stats and Information points out that he smacked the longest home run of his career on Wednesday night with a blast totaling 431 feet.
But you can count on Twitter for more creative reactions to a lengthy pair of home runs.
Wil Myers hit that so far, Pedro Martinez's ERA went up.— Dylan Connolly (@DCONN24) September 5, 2013
Wil Myers just hit a home run to the fake pride rock. Real Lion doing real things.— Tommy Rancel (@TRancel) September 5, 2013
Even a fake cat who pretends to be a DJ was loving Myers' performance on Wednesday night.
Jokes aside, the Rays will definitely need Myers and his bat if they want to keep pace in the ultra-competitive American League playoff chase. The rising star outfielder can't have any more slumps like the one he just broke out of, or the Rays will be sorely lacking in power and production at the plate.
Evan Longoria has only posted five hits in his last 10 games, and Ben Zobrist has been consistent but not fantastic this season. That means Myers is the complementary piece the Rays need on offense to contend with the heavy-hitting Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
The Rays need to do everything they can to earn the top spot in the AL East and avoid the Wild Card play-in game with a fierce American League rival. Myers remaining hot and providing power and speed in the middle of the lineup will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
And besides, if the Rays don't finish first, then they're last. Right Ricky Bobby, I mean Wil Myers?
I probably spend too much time thinking about this, but I got Wil Myers as Ricky Bobby.— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) September 5, 2013
Who's Cal Naughton, Jr.? RT @RaysJoeMaddon: I probably spend too much time thinking about this, but I got Wil Myers as Ricky Bobby.— Scott Crumbly (@ScottCrumbly) September 5, 2013
So for the Rays, "Ricky Bobby" and the rest of the offense will need to keep the car running well on offense to power their way to the World Series.
And if Wednesday night was any indication, Wil Myers has flipped on the ignition for the race to the finish.