Padres: Wil Myers bounceback year nothing short of remarkable
By Ryan Sikes
No longer under Andy Green, Wil Myers is having a comeback year with the Padres.
With exception to .312 average in September, which ironically aligned with Padres manager Andy Green being fired, Wil Myers had a difficult 2019 campaign. Actually, it marked back-to-back down years for the former Royals farmhand, who signed a lucrative six-year extension after the 2016 season.
It’s long been documented that Myers and Green didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye, but his final month surge didn’t stop the trade rumors from swirling during the offseason. The 29-year-old was most notably linked to a three-team deal with the Boston Red Sox, in what would essentially be a salary dump for the Padres.
But no trade ever materialized and Myers was heading into his sixth year with the club. The early signs in spring training and summer camp pointed toward Myers have a bounceback campaign, often seen launching moonshots and lacing doubles down the line. But the exhibitions are exactly that, and he needed to prove it in meaningful games.
And by all accounts, he’s been one of the most consistent contributors for the Padres this season. In the first game of a four-game series with the Rockies on Friday night, Myers logged a four-hit night, raising his average to .297 on the shortened season.
Myers was instrumental in the Padres comeback victory against the Mariners in Game 1 of their doubleheader on Thursday, smacking a three-run walkoff homer. The biggest improvement in his game has been the reduced strikeout rate – 27.2% down from 34.3% last season.
Accoridng to StatCast, Myers is hammering breaking balls to the tune of a .314 average and half of his 8 homers have come off this pitch. For reference, he hit .154 with a 43.6 percent whiff rate in 2019. It probably also helps that Myers isn’t constantly being moved all around the diamond, settling into the permanent right field spot this year.