Myers Exceeding Padre’s Expectations


33 games into the MLB season, the rebuilt San Diego Padres still have a lot of questions.  However, with the solid play of the new outfield, there is no question that the additions of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers have improved this club.

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Myers in particular, has been the most pleasant surprise of the bunch.  After his impressive 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign, Myers suffered a nagging wrist injury, his attitude was questioned, and his stats took a nose dive.

All of these factors allowed Padres GM, AJ Preller, to acquire Myers for a batch of prospects.  Still, many questioned whether he would be able to get his offense back to what it was in 2013, and if he could handle the cavernous Petco Park outfield.

So far the Padres have asked Myers to do more than he ever has in his big league career.  With an outfield full of corner players, they asked Myers to stretch himself and cover center field, a position he only briefly played in the minor leagues.  Oscar Terrones of isportsweb still thinks that, “Myers looks awkward and uncomfortable in center,” but I disagree.

After watching games this season I have been very impressed with the way Myers covers ground in center field.   The only defensive slip up I can recall Myers making was a fly ball against the wall that ended up hitting his glove and bouncing over for a home run.  If that ball lands an inch higher in the webbing of his glove we wouldn’t be having this debate.  He’s not making flashy plays, but plays the position effectively with his range.

Recently, the Padres have asked even more of Myers defensively, switching him over to first base with Yonder Alonso on the DL.  Again, there is a small sample size here, but Myers already looks more comfortable at the position than teammate Yangervis Solarte.

Myers came up with the Tampa Bay Rays as a middle of the order bat, but with the pedigree of his fellow outfielders, the Padres have placed more pressure on Myers by asking him to hit lead off.  Myers hasn’t exactly changed his approach at the plate, but is seeing good pitches and slashing .298/.343/.504 so far this season.  His hot hitting has propelled him towards the top of the major leagues in runs scored.

Furthermore, Myers was rumored to have some attitude problems in Tampa Bay, which is why many thought they were willing to deal him.  I have to say, with all the shuffling and expectations the Padres have placed on Myers, it seems as though he has an exemplary attitude.  He comes to the park each day with a chip on his shoulder, looking to prove all of his critics wrong.

As a fan, I am impressed with what Myers has done so far this season, and hope he keeps it up for many seasons in a Padre uniform.

Do you think Myers has been playing up to his expectations?  Exceeding them?  How do you see Myers being used with Melvin Upton returns from the DL?

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