When Wil Myers stepped to the plate in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium this past July, he was one big step closer to his major league dream. Myers, the top Kansas City Royals minor league prospect at the time, was playing in the Major League All-Star Futures Game. Two hits and three RBIs later, the partisan Royals crowd had the same dream.
Now, Myers is a member of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, acquired late Sunday night in the seven player deal that sent Rays pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
Admittedly surprised by the announcement, the outfielder turned his attention to his "new" dream.
"Obviously the Rays are a great organization.", Myers stated in a conference call with the media. "They develop young talent very well. They're a winning organization which I like."
A fan of both Rays third baseman Evan Longoria as well as pitcher David Price, Myers can bet on his new teammates becoming fans of the potential star in the making.
In a whirlwind 2012 season, Myers batted .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBIs. He split time between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, leaving each stop without much to prove...at least with his bat.
Myers has only played in the outfield full time for two seasons. And while the Rays interest in him is certainly to boost the club's hitting, Myers will be asked to fill a major role defensively, most likely center field.
"My first year in 2011, I had some adjustments to make out there.", Myers said. "This year I felt a lot more comfortable in the outfield. I played a lot more games in center field."
A work in progress?
Spring Training will be quick work for Myers who is likely the first choice to replace former center fielder BJ Upton, who signed a free agent deal with the Atlanta Braves. Myers' ability to grasp the position spares manager Joe Maddon the worry of moving left fielder Desmond Jennings into that center spot.
Questions or not, Myers was due to compete for an Opening Day spot in 2013. Only, that major league dream now takes a turn south the Tropicana Field.
"I was working hard this off-season to go into Spring Training to try and a win a job.", Myers said. "Those decisions are out of my control. It's whatever the front office thinks is best."