The Royals are in the World Series, and it’s going to be mentioned at some point that the organization moved a big prospect in Wil Myers to acquire two of the pieces that brought them so much success this year. Last season, it looked like the Rays were going to be the ones that ran away with the trade. Myers won Rookie of the Year. He hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 homers and drove in 53 runs in just over half a season. At 23, he came into 2014 with high expectations and a high preseason rank on most fantasy sites. Then they actually played the 2014 season. Myers ended up playing only 87 games thanks to a wrist fracture, and when he was on the field he looked lost at the plate. So what can we expect from the young Rays’ outfielder going forward in keeper leagues?

If you’ve been following the posts, I don’t put much stock in keeper rankings. They are kind of like the male nipple of fantasy rankings. If you don’t have them it looks odd. But their real purpose is questionable. So it was only to satisfy my own morbid curiosity that I checked out the 2015 keeper rankings from ESPN to see where they had Myers. He’s at 113, behind players like Mat Latos and David Wright. Male nipples. He’s still a top 75 keeper in my mind. The injury doesn’t change that.

The bad news is that keeper owners basically lost an entire year of production from Myers. The good news – there were obvious reasons for his struggle besides just the dreaded sophomore slump. While Myers was still shelved with his wrist injury in July, Bill Chastain of MLB.com wrote about how the downtime was testing Myers’s patience. In that article he mentioned this interesting tidbit: “If there is a bright side to Myers’ injury, it is the fact that the time off has allowed his left hand to heal. Myers injured the hand while sliding in the sixth game of the season and never quite felt right, which could be seen as being a factor in the numbers he had accrued — a .227/.313/.354 slash line, five homers, 25 RBIs — by the time he went on the disabled list.” Knowing how wrist injuries of any kind can have a big impact on hitters, it’s worth noting that Myers wasn’t healthy from basically the sixth game of the 2014 season on.

Moving forward, it’s fair to project Myers for basically the same numbers we did coming into 2014. He consistently hit for both power and average in the minor leagues and the ISO that he posted in 2014 will end up looking like an outlier. Steamer is projecting 21 homers and 75 RBI, but I”m higher on the rebound and think he’ll be closer to a 25 homer/90 RBI performer. He’ll turn 24 this December and barring further injuries, he’s going to be entering his prime years for fantasy production over the next 3 years. There are going to be some 30+ homer seasons down the road. From a fantasy perspective, we have to mention his ability to contribute steals in addition to the power. We don’t run with our wrists, and in 2014 Myers threw in one more steal than he had in his rookie season. For at least the next year or two, we could see 10-steal seasons from him. Ask about Myers this offseason in keeper leagues before he gets back on the field at 100%.

  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Mike!

    Gr8 stuff. I’m a big fan of Myers and think he’ll be had for the cheap next year, especially in H2H where auto rankings look at the 3-year average which is not gr8 for him for obvious reasons.

    Looking forward to more reports from the Arizona Fall League.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Ante! I’ll try to work some AFL recaps into these Sunday posts. Good idea

  2. de nachos says:
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    “the male nipple of fantasy rankings”

    Sublime writing. Except to the dude on my high school soccer team with the lactating nipple. I imagine the analogy would be lost on him. But I love it.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha thanks man! poor guy…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Mike: I want to tweet that analogy out.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha. by all means

    • J-FOH says:
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      @de nachos: why, did he use it for his coffee? #functionallactation

  3. goodfold2 says:
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    i didn’t know he was hurt that early this past year. even had i not learned that 75 overall for this guy is all kinds of low. being behind wright is completely ridiculous, aren’t very real questions about that guy’s career having a very real chance of being done?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      re: Wright…yeah there are. They had Myers in the 60s last year…considering we’re looking ahead I can’t see how he dropped 50 spots, but again, these are crapshoot keeper rankings. I agree he’s a top 75 keeper

  4. Denys says:
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    Remember when we were all bullish on Longoria. Another Tampa Bay hitter to disappoint our wild speculations. I get the feeling Myers will be an average real life player, streamable for a week here and there in fantasy.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’m calling you Denys Downer now.

      Kidding…you might be right. We’ll have to wait and see.

      • Denys says:
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        @Mike: Still waiting for Longo’s long-promised (Looking at you Grey) MVP season.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha

          only because you sparked my interest…he had top ten MVP votes in three of the last 5 seasons (and played only 74 games in ’12)…so it’s not a complete disaster

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