Name: Wil Myers
Notable 2011 Stats: .254/.353/.393 with 23 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 87/52 K/BB, and 9-for-11 SB in 99 games with Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Why He’s This High: It’s not easy to hold one’s own in a Double-A lineup at age 20, and that’s exactly what Myers did in 2011. He had already blown apart both A-ball levels in 2010 as a teenager, so he has a strong track record.
Myers showed a bit of everything in his game this past year, walking 12.5% of the time and posting a 5/3 K/BB ratio. He ripped 23 doubles in 99 games, and some of his doubles should start clearing the fence as he matures. Myers even stole nine bases in 11 attempts.
Myers then crushed the Arizona Fall League in the offseason, hitting .360/.481/.674 with more walks than strikeouts and 14 extra-base hits in 23 games.
Why He’s This Low: Myers has fallen slightly from last year for two reasons. The first is that his Double-A performance was nowhere near as tremendous as his work in 2010. The second is that he’s moved from catcher to right field, so he’s slid far down the defensive spectrum.
There’s a lot of pressure on Myers to hit for both a higher average and more over-the-fence power if he’s going to be an elite corner outfielder. Even there, his defense is not thought of particularly highly, so while he probably won’t have to make the dreaded move to first base, his bat will have to carry him nonetheless.
Conclusions: It’s easy to get carried away with the mediocrity of Myers’ 2011 regular season, especially in light of his position switch. But when you really stack him up against other offensive prospects, “handled Double-A only moderately well at age 20″ isn’t as big of a flaw as you’d think. Myers was so far ahead in his development that he basically gets a mulligan for 2011, which already looks smart due to his AFL rebound. He’ll start to slide more quickly if he can’t get back on track in 2012, but for now he remains one of the game’s top position player prospects.
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