Mar 5, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Wil Myers (4) gets tagged out by Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager (15) in the third inning during a spring training baseball game at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Wil Myers is a more unconventional pick for the first base job. Myers is currently penciled in as the team’s center fielder, but that’s a bit of a concern defensively. Last year in right field he was worth -7 defensive runs saved in the outfield. Most of his time was spent in right field, so now move him to center and in a bigger outfield for half of his games, the results could be disastrous. Also he isn’t flanked by great defenders, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp aren’t going to be able to help him cover much ground.
One way to solve the outfield’s defensive issues could be to move Myers to first base and put either Cameron Maybin or Will Venable into center field. While that would certainly make a much better defensive outfield, would the Padres be opening a whole new can of worms by putting Myers at first? I don’t think so. Myers played two games at first last season and has minor league experience at third base. He does have some comfort in the infield and a poor defensive first baseman is far less damaging than a poor defensive center fielder. I’d take a couple balls that can’t be picked out of the dirt over balls getting lost in the gaps any day.
This will probably never happen, but it merits consideration. While the Padres do have a great pitching staff, a poor defensive outfield could do a lot of damage, especially in Petco Park. If Myers’ bat is a lot further ahead than his defense then a move to first might be the best move for the Padres.
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