The first prospect up for review this season is Wil Myers of the Kansas City Royals.
How Acquired: Drafted out of High School by the Royals in the 2009 draft (3rd Rd)
Age as of 4/1/11: 20
Team Lg G AB R H HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG Burlington MIDW 68 242 42 70 10 45 10 48 55 .289 .408 .500 Wilmington CARL 58 205 28 71 4 38 2 37 39 .346 .453 .512
Hardball Times: #4 (KCR – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #2 (Catcher – 2011)
Project Prospect: #8 (Overall – 2011), #2 (Catcher – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #1 (Catcher – 2010)
Baseball America: #2 (KCR – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (KCR – 2011)
Baseball Prospectus: #4 (KCR – 2011)
Scouting Book: #3 (Catcher – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #3 (KCR – 2011)
Myers was drafted out of high school by the Royals, but appeared to fall farther in the draft than was anticipated. Prior to the draft, Keith Law thought he would go at #12 to the Royals in his final mock draft, Lincoln Hamilton at Project Prospect thought he might go as high as #4, and ranked him as his 24th best prospect in the draft on the day of the draft. Even MyMLBDraft.Com had him at #30 overall. Clearly, it appears no one saw him lasting all the way to #91 overall. It appears that he fell in the draft due to signability concerns, but the only place I really found mention of that was this post by Project Prospect. Interestingly, he did spend the majority of the summer with the Royals’ affiliate in the Appalachian League, working out but still unsigned.
After reaching a preliminary agreement with Kansas City, Myers was not allowed to play because of MLB’s stance on over-slot figures. The team’s front office also didn’t want Myers’ contract to be a bargaining point for other players.
He did end up playing in 22 games in his first professional season and tore up two different rookie leagues, hitting .369 with 5 home runs and 18 rbi in that short time frame. The Royals moved him up to Single A Burlington to start 2010, and he really did well there, earning him a call up to their High-A affiliate in Wilmington. Once in Wilmington, he crushed the pitchers there as well, posting .346 with 4 homers and 38 rbi in 58 games.
Myers has been playing catcher mostly, but there are reports that he will need to move to a different position by the time he gets to the majors. He threw out 32% of potential base-stealers in 2010, but allowed 71 stolen bases in just 75 games. The Royals appear to be trying to keep him from playing a massive amount of games behind the plate, as he ended up appearing in 128 total games, but just the 75 at catcher.
From MLB.COM’s Top 50 Prospect Scouting Report:
Upside potential: If he can stick behind the plate, he has the chance to be an impact hitter at a premium position. Even if he switches positions, his bat could be very special.
I will be interested to see if he continues to play catcher in 2011, or if the Royals start the move to a different position. Based on the positions of some of the other top prospects in the Royals’ system, he’s most likely to end up in a corner outfield slot if he does move.
Myers will be still be young for the level if he starts 2011 at AA, and really seems like he could be one of the more advanced prospects in all of the minor leagues. His bat really appears to be one of the most advanced, but his value could change wildly if he cannot stay behind the plate. Based on the players already in the system, the Royals are probably well served if they can keep him at catcher, and develop him into at least a decent defender/receiver. If not, he will still likely be an excellent hitter at any position he does end up playing.
Prediction for 2011
.310/.410/.550, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 10 SB (AA, with some time at AAA most likely)
Late 2012, or 2013 at the start of the season. I think he could be longer if he stays at catcher, but that timeframe still seems very likely.