With Wil Myers, the prize prospect of the Kansas City Royals organization, much-anticipated promotion to Omaha last week, conversations began swirling about his future with the franchise.
An injury-plagued scuffle at Northwest Arkansas last season knocked Myers a bit off schedule. Instead of starting the season at Triple-A, he returned to Double-A to prove himself. Prove himself he did.
After a torrid 35-game start in Northwest Arkansas in which he hit .343 with 13 homers, he got the call to Omaha. There wasn’t much more to prove at Double-A. Myers had more homers in 35 games than he had in 99 last year, and he was driving in nearly a run per game.
But here is where his path grows uncertain.
Going into this season, the Royals’ corner outfield spots were settled. Those positions are currently manned by young but experienced team-leaders who hit with power, run well and play Gold-Glove caliber defense.
Might Myers’ future be in centerfield? Perhaps, but that’s where a position battle is shaping up between Jerrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain.
And to further confuse matters, the Royals tried Myers at third base before his most recent promotion, and some even speculate it might be his most natural position. The Royals justified the experiment by saying proven versatility would benefit Myers in the future.
Myers made the transition from catcher to outfield just last year. Would another position change be in his best interest? Or might the constant shuffling hamper his growth, as it might have Mark Teahen’s a few years ago? Some would argue a top prospect should just be settled into one position to simplify the matriculation process.
Developing Myers at third base would only make sense for one reason – to set up a trade.
It is absolutely no secret that the Royals are desperate for pitching help. If Myers proves a capable third baseman, would the Royals consider trading Mike Moustakas?
Or are they trying to put a little more shine on Myers in order to shop him around for pitching?
There are no sure things in baseball. But Myers’ bat appears to about as close to a sure thing as you can get.
The way Royals pitchers are breaking down, however, it appears that developing pitchers couldn’t be any further from a sure thing.
I personally would prefer the team not deal Myers (or Moustakas) for pitching help. Developing pitchers is too much of a crapshoot. There are just too many questions marks regarding the outfield, and Myers brings too upside to the table to justify the risk.
Myers is definitely on the move, but it’s up to the Royals to make the right moves on his behalf.