Myers brings hype, hope for Rays' future - WFLA News Channel 8

Myers brings hype, hope for Rays' future

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (WFLA) -
Wil Myers could not believe the Kansas City Royals were willing to trade a hot prospect like him to the Rays for pitcher James Shields last December 9.
 
"The trade happened a couple hours before my birthday," Myers said. "I think it was a good birthday present, but I was pretty shocked.
 
"The main thing is learning people's names. I'm not really good at that."
 
Myers is good at hitting homers. He hit 37 of them in AA and AAA last season. He was named the Minor League Player of the Year. And after watching him launch moon shots in the batting cage already, his new teammates aren't forgetting Myers' name.
 
"I was just in awe," said outfielder Desmond Jennings.  "I didn't know he was that big. I thought it was [6-foot-9 pitcher Jeff] Niemann in the box the first time I saw him."
 
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Myers reminds manager Joe Maddon of someone else.  "Maybe a beefier Jim Carrey," Maddon said.
 
"Jim Carrey?" Myers asked laughing upon hearing it. "I've never heard that one before. I don't know how to take that. Hopefully, it's because I'm really funny."
 
The hype surrounding the 22-year-old Myers is no joke. Evan Longoria faced it when he was Myers' age.
 
"It seems like it was yesterday that I was probably answering some of the same questions that he's answering now," Longoria said. "Really, the one true test is how he is as an individual. He has a great work ethic from what I can see. He's in the cage as early as everybody else, and those kinds of things, they matter."
 
Even though Myers has a powerful bat the Rays' anemic offense needs, he also struck out a career-high 137 last season.
 
Normally, Rays GM Andrew Friedman keeps players in the minors a bit longer to delay when they're arbitration eligible. And this spring, the Rays brass will really be watching Myers for the first time, and they're watching closely.
 
"I think that's on every baseball player's mind, when they're going to get called up," Myers said. "I don't think that's pressure really. It's just more of a challenge to show them what I can do."
 
"From him, you're going to a lot of good things physically. There's no question about that," said Maddon. "A lot of times a player is going to reveal that he's ready not necessarily by hitting the ball hard in spring training but how he talks to you, where his mind is at, the maturity level. All those things matter more."
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