Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fantasy Focus Prospect Edition: Wil Myers

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all you die-hards out there.  I know you can't resist a quick surf before navigating the jungles of family get-togethers.  You're not going to find much on the baseball oriented sites today, so hopefully I can give you a little something to feed the craving here.

Several years ago, the KC Royals embarked on a long term rebuilding plan anchored by drafting high ceiling HS position prospects.  Most of those draftees have graduated, but just barely, and most have struggled with the transition to MLB.  If the strategy is going to work, we should be seeing breakout seasons from Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas or both.  Wil Myers, who may well be the best hitter of the bunch, is the last major piece of the puzzle and he should be entering the picture in 2013.

Myers will turn 22 yo in December.  He is 6'3", 190 lbs.  He started out as an offensive oriented catcher in the Royals system but is now an OF projected to play RF after trying 3B and 1B along the way. He has made steady progress up the Royals minor league ladder capped by a breakout season last year.  Here are his stat lines from his minor league career"

2009:  Rookie  .426/.488/.735 with 4 HR in 80 PA.

2010:  A   .289/.408/.500 with 10 HR, 10 SB in 294 PA.
          A+ .346/.453/.512 with 4 HR in 247 PA.

2011:  AA   .254/.353/.393 with 8 HR in 416 PA.
          AFL .360/.481/.674 with 4 HR in 106 PA.

2012:  AA    .351/.421/.739 with 13 HR in 152 PA.
          AAA  .304/.378/.554 with 24 HR in 439 PA.

Myers obviously hits for average and power with excellent walk rates to boot.  The areas of caution are his slow adjustment to AA level and rising K rates which have climbed from the mid-teen % into the 20's at higher levels.

The question from a fantasy perspective is whether to jump on this guy the minute you know he's coming up.  If you are in a keeper league with any depth, the answer is obviously yes, possibly even earlier than that(if you are in a deep keeper league, it's probably already too late).  If you are in a re-draft league, you might be more cautious, but if you wait, somebody in your league will probably beat you to him.  He won't steal bases like Mike Trout, but he could hit every bit as well and from the get-go.

From the Royals perspective, Myers is the linchpin of their long term rebuild strategy. If he is what he appears to be and if Hosmer and Moustakas come along as they should, the Royals will be a force in the AL Central for several seasons starting very soon.  All the Dayton Moore hate will go away.  If Myers is anything less than an offensive force, the rebuild could stall and Moore will go down in history as just another GM who failed and all the haters will be gleefully gloating.  BA will probably post another cautionary article about the risks of trying to build with HS draftees.

Giants note:  Dodgers signed RHP Hector Correa as a minor league FA out of the Giants system.  Correa was obtained in a trade with the Marlins for Ronny Paulino who had just been acquired from the Philllies for Jack Taschner.  I had Correa ranked as the Giants #20 prospect last year but he was dropped from the 40 man roster due to injuries during the 2012 season.


  1. I'm a skeptic on Dayton Moore's practices personally. Like OGC says, you build pitching instead of hitting, you don't get hitters tripping all over themselves. Do they really need a Big 4 hitting squad of bonus babies (Gordon counts too!). I would trade whichever one of those guys has the most value (most likely Myers) for a pitcher and go try to compete. Gordon might have the established value, but he's sort of expensive. Moose has the best glove. Hosmer's value is down.

    I haven't paid a ton of attention to Myers, obviously as minor league player of the year he has a ton of hype. That contact rate might be a caution though. Still, he has good BA... I'd trade him to Tampa with a package for Price, or try and get Big Game James for Hosmer. The Royals need to stop building the peeeerfect farm system and go compete already. Make a trade, sign Anibal Sanchez and go fight it out. This build a average starting rotation is not a good ticket to success.

    1. Well, in Moore's defense, he has had some AFW type luck with pitching prospects. Hochevar, Crow, Lamb, Montgomery, maybe he doesn't know how to scout, draft and develop pitching or maybe he's been AFW'd. Who knows?

      Agree they need to find some top flight pitching from somewhere. Ain't gonna win any rings with the likes of Jeremy Guthrie and Bruce Chen populating your rotation.

    2. I agree with Shankbone that they need to trade for top line pitching. I would trade Gordon because he is older and could FA when pitching is ready.

      DrB has good point about them trying to get pitching and striking out. Hochevar in particular, as they could have had Lincecum instead, or even Longoria. Do not recall if the other ones are first rounder or not, but I would point out that the Giants mainly picked up only pitching with their first round picks, and I know that they did not, as they could have had Posey instead of Hosmer.

      They really need to analyze past drafts, see how they ranked players, see how they turned out, to see which scouts were better at spotting good players. Particularly pitching. And really, whether Dayton stays or not, start emphasizing pitching in drafts.

      As I have noted before the odds are so low at finding good players that you probably need a PhD in Statistics to figure out with just a handful of drafts what the odds are that the results were just random, good insight or poor insight, in picking good players, plus you have to wait long enough to see how they turn out.

      I think picking up Anibal is a good choice plus pry a pitcher away from Rays.

      Happy Turkey Day!

    3. Just to add to the AFW theory here: Royals drafted Kyle Zimmer in the first round in 2012, a college pitcher expected to move fast. Well, everything may still turn out OK, but he's already undergone elbow surgery to clean out loose bodies or spurs or something. Not a great way for your high first round pick to start out.

    4. ogc,

      Went back and looked at the 2008 first round. Good point about drafting Hosmer over Posey. Maybe Posey's bonus demands scared them off, but Hosmer wasn't exactly cheap either. Hosmer could still pan out to be a good pick though. Went back and looked at the 2006 draft. Hochevar over Longoria is questionable. Hochevar wasn't cheap to sign either. Amazing how bad the 2006 draft was overall. Longoria and Lincecum are pretty much the only two players from the first round who have become stars.

      When you go back and look at the drafts from 2006-2008, the years the Giants got Timmy, Bummy and Buster, it's amazing how well the Giants drafted. Was it just a tremendous run of luck or do the Giants just do a better job of scouting the draft than other teams?

    5. Braves have a surplus of pitching and need a LF year in and year out. Seems like Alex Gordon for a couple of their pitchers is a perfect fit.

    6. Gordon to the Braves makes some sense. I don't think the Rays would take him because of the cost on his contract. And I think its worth mentioning that Gordon is a triumph of sticking with a highly rated guy through some big knocks. He's the only proven guy of the bunch though, and I think you should think about keeping the proven guy. Plus the fact teams might not want the contract. I wish we had some ready pitchers for em, I wouldn't mind our LF year in year out getting solved...

      I read through some old BA chats on the Gints last night. One thing I totally forgot that I never bring up in OGC and my Michael Tucker discussions, which is pretty damning: we didn't offer arbitration to Santiago or Worrell that year, let em walk. So it wasn't just Sad-faced Michael Tucker, we were actually looking at 3 or 4 potential picks. Santiago wasn't a type A, but he might have brought a 2nd rounder. (Slightly ironically the Royals signed him - their 2nd rounder was Billy Buckner that year). Worrell was the Phils setup for Billy Wagner that year, I think the Yanks or Phils would have paid up still, they both were after vet setup guys. Phils picked 21st. So either 3 or 4 picks, instead of none, Worrell with his saves on his jacket was a type A pretty easy I think.

      Then in addition to the 3 signings we did to pick in the 4th in the 2005, we also let AJ walk (understandable but technical). And Neifi Perez! We didn't offer arbitration to Neifi Perez OGC! OK, now I'm just getting silly, but Dusty Baker swooped the guy up with a quickness, so there's always that.

      Its just funny to read those old Q&A's - there are a lot of dead soldiers in prospecting, but you see the fanbases hopes and dreams, and you know the successes and failures, its kind of interesting. There was a lot of anger about them there draft pick drops. The no money for both angle is brought up a lot as a defense, as well as put the best team on the field for Barry. Maybe that knee infection was the best thing to happen, because it shook the Greybeards into action. And then they went to work.

    7. I had forgotten about those potential picks too. That is really too many picks to forgo, and that I lay at the feet of ownership, that was not too much money to invest in prospects,mthey are to blame for those tactics. And since Magowan was the one in charge, he gets much of the blame for that.