Padres: Mental preparation just as important for Wil Myers

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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Wil Myers was off to a red-hot start in spring training. Can he carry that over into the upcoming shortened season for the Padres?

With the trade rumors on hold, for now, Wil Myers is looking to bounce back from a couple of difficult seasons with the Padres. The 29-year-old posted a career-worst 34.3 percent strikeout rate and his lowest batting average (.239) since 2014. He’s been roughly a league-average player the last three seasons after hitting 28 home runs and 99 RBI during the 2016 season.

Needless to say, 2020 is an important year for Myers, who is likely going to feel the heat of the competition behind him. The former Royals draft pick figures to be the everyday right fielder. Still, guys like Taylor Trammell, Franchy Cordero, Jorge Mateo, and potentially Edward Olivares are making last-ditch efforts to be added to the 30-man roster.

Olivares, 24, was receiving high praises from the Padres development staff, and it appears that it has carried over into summer camp. As for Myers, he, too, was off to a blazing start in spring training, hitting .300 (1.097 OPS) with two doubles, one triple, three home runs, and five RBI in 11 games.

It’s a shame that the season failed to start as planned because Myers would have been one of the more intriguing players to watch. However, he’s been using the downtime to work on his approach at the plate, from a mental perspective.

“You can work on it anytime, whether it be tee, flips, you have batting practice, whatever it is. There are always times you can use to work on your plan. That’s how you’re successful at the plate is to be able to go up there and execute what you’re trying to do. I feel like that’s been my prime focus every time I take a swing, whether it be in the cage or outside in BP at the games as well.”

Again, with a crowded outfield, Myers figures to be the guy in the right field, for now. But under team control through the 2022 season, with a $20M club option for 2023 as well, Myers could be a potential trade candidate at the deadline, if he performs well.

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The Padres will likely have to eat a chunk of his salary, but they could receive a decent haul of prospects to add to an already-stacked farm system. Perhaps general manager AJ Preller should keep the Boston Red Sox on speed dial.

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