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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Baseball America: 2012 Minor League Player Of The Year: Wil Myers

Does this in any way help my well-hidden thicket of Cory Myers RC’s?

Coming into this season, Wil Myers had never struck out more than 100 times in a season. As he’ll quickly point out, he had never hit 15 home runs in a season, either.

Myers, and the Royals, see him as a middle-of-the-order hitter, not a table-setter. Middle-of-the-order hitters don’t settle for line-drive singles and doubles. So Myers decided to do something about that.

“If I’m in the middle of the order, they won’t want me to hit 10 home runs in a year,” Myers said. “You have to know where you’re hitting in the order. (Hitting for power) was a conscious effort for me.”

Like a chef tweaking a recipe, Myers decided to alter his approach this year. He stood more upright at the plate, which enabled him to get more backspin on the ball, and he started to take more aggressive swings later in at-bats.

The change has led to Myers striking out at a higher rate than he had before, but with a significant payoff: launching balls over fences night after night.

Myers finished second in the minors in home runs behind only the Phillies’ Darin Ruf. His 37 home runs were 23 more than his previous high for a season, and despite the strikeouts, he did it while continuing to hit for average. He hit .313/.387/.600 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. Game-changing power as a 21-year-old rounded Myers’ game out perfectly, and it also made him Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year.

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. ColonelTom Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4226281)
Myers finished second in the minors in home runs behind only the Phillies’ Darin Ruf.


[The] Ruf is on fire!
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4226361)
If only the Royals could find a place for him in their loaded outfield. Its not like they're playing a rightfielder having one of the worst seasons ever.
   3. Guapo Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4226378)
But does Myers have heart and hustle?
   4. bfan Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4226458)
So how does a guy who compiles a career of not bad to decent defensive stats in RF all of the sudden in 1 year become the 2nd coming of Greg Luginski? It isn't as if Jeff Francoeur gained 70 pounds in the off-season, or is playing on 1 leg.
   5. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4226471)
I feel like I always end up disagreeing with who they pick. This should have gone to Taveras.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4226486)
So how does a guy who compiles a career of not bad to decent defensive stats in RF all of the sudden in 1 year become the 2nd coming of Greg Luginski? It isn't as if Jeff Francoeur gained 70 pounds in the off-season, or is playing on 1 leg.

His legs have accumulated an awful lot of Delta Miles...
   7. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4226519)
I feel like I always end up disagreeing with who they pick. This should have gone to Taveras.


Myers: .343/.414/.731 in AA (league was .256/.326/.389); .304/.378/.554 in AAA (league was .278/.345/.430)

overall Myers was .314/.387/.600, against a league of .272/.340/.419, that comes out to an OPS+ of 157

Taveras hit .321/.380/.572 versus a league average of .256/.326/.389, that comes out to an OPS+ of 164

Myers did most of his work in AAA, but Taveras is [reportedly] younger by 18 months.

Taveras is a CF, but isn't likely sticking there.
Myers was a C, didn't stick, and the Royals had him in CF (he isn't sticking there either)


I'd say Taveras, but it's close, I have no idea what their relative defensive value in 2012 was, but their Off. was close enough, and they essentially played the same position(s), That my guess is that whoever was the better defender should have won. (FWIW Myers CF range factor was 2.36, Taveras was 2.11)
   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4226546)
So how does a guy who compiles a career of not bad to decent defensive stats in RF all of the sudden in 1 year become the 2nd coming of Greg Luginski?

Presumably in the same way that one of the greatest and most consistent hitters we've ever seen (Pujols) hits 197/235/275 for 150 PA. Or the way in which Adam Dunn goes from a 138 OPS+ and 276 ISO in 2010 to a 54 OPS+ and 118 ISO in 2011. In short, nobody has a clue but this stuff happens.

I tend to be on your side of this but it's for reasons I can't put a finger on really. We are used to seeing wild fluctuations on offense but for some reason we don't expect to see them on defense. But I can't blame the defensive stat defenders for pointing out that if "random" stuff can make Dunn one of the worst hitters in ML history (in 500 PAs) why can't random stuff make Francoeur a lousy OF in 200 flyballs?
   9. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4226569)
A Long time coming for one of the most dominant offensive seasons in Minor League Baseball by Adam Eaton gets the call up today to the Big Leagues. Adam Eaton 24 year old out fielder from Springfield Ohio out of Miami Ohio university is 5? 8? 185 LBS left handed batter who can add a much needed spark to the Arizona Diamondbacks order. Adam played for the AAA Reno Aces out of the Pacific Coast League this year and had the most dominating performance in PCL history. listen to these numbers: 119 games, 488 at bats, .381 AVG, 119 runs, 186 hits, 46 doubles, 5 triples, 7 home runs, 45 RBI, 263 total bases, 53 walks, 38 stolen bases and an on base percentage of .456. he leads all categories except RBI and Home runs.


That quote came from here

Nice year, good for 8th in OPS...
But considering the PCl and Reno's park factor (run multiplier of 1.13 in 2011), we're talking about a 140ish OPS+, about the same as Wil Myers' AAA OPS+


   10. Walt Davis Posted: September 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4226649)
.381 AVG, 119 runs, 186 hits, 46 doubles, 5 triples, 7 home runs,

No prospect maven here but even putting the PCL aside, when I look at a line like that I think "yeah, but he'll obviously never come close to that in MLB." The BA and doubles are likely to take a big hit on the move to MLB and I see another fast guy with no power. Obviously you're quite happy if your prospect turns out to be somewhere in the Pierre-Ichiro range (and the 381 BA does suggest we're not talking Willy Taveras here) but I'd be avoiding the hype.

I know, the walk rate could maintain, the doubles power could become HR power or at least maintain, etc.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4226686)
When Myers wins it again next year, would he be the first back-to-back winner or has that been done before?
   12. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4226814)
No prospect maven here but even putting the PCL aside, when I look at a line like that I think "yeah, but he'll obviously never come close to that in MLB." The BA and doubles are likely to take a big hit on the move to MLB and I see another fast guy with no power. Obviously you're quite happy if your prospect turns out to be somewhere in the Pierre-Ichiro range (and the 381 BA does suggest we're not talking Willy Taveras here) but I'd be avoiding the hype

I know, the walk rate could maintain, the doubles power could become HR power or at least maintain, etc..


Before this year, his career minor league line was something like .345/.456/.495 in a bunch of leagues that aren't Reno, i.e. are probably more pitchers than hitters leagues. Obviously he's 24, and was old for those leagues, but he can stick at CF he doesn't have to have a .400 OBP or .500 SLG to be very valuable. HIs "range factor" and fielding percentage seems like it would be average to slightly above average in the majors.

And his career walk rate is 11%, I wouldn't ding him for a 7% AAA rate much when he's hitting .380 and slugging .540, it might be a little tempting to swing away more when you are that successful.

Thank god Kevin Towers is a miracle worker. One of the main reasons ownership gave for firing Josh Byrnes was the awful state of the farm system. In less than 2 years and Towers has already developed Eaton, Paul Goldschmidt, AJ Pollock, Josh Bell, Ryan Wheeler, Collin Cowgill, Matt Davidson, Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs, Trever Bauer, Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin, I mean I could go on forever!

Where did KT find all these guys?

   13. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4226827)
No prospect maven here but even putting the PCL aside, when I look at a line like that I think "yeah, but he'll obviously never come close to that in MLB." The BA and doubles are likely to take a big hit on the move to MLB and I see another fast guy with no power. Obviously you're quite happy if your prospect turns out to be somewhere in the Pierre-Ichiro range (and the 381 BA does suggest we're not talking Willy Taveras here) but I'd be avoiding the hype.

I know, the walk rate could maintain, the doubles power could become HR power or at least maintain, etc.
in the last ~half dozen years, the same things were said about michael bourn, jacoby ellsbury, and brett gardner. they were all old-for-their-age speedy top-of-the-lineup type hitters, and all 3 have had some pretty good years. ellsbury had an 8 WAR season in 2011; gardner had a 7 WAR season in 2010; bourn is in the middle of his 2nd 5 WAR season.

there's no reason why that shouldn't be the expectation for eaton. a CFer who can hit for a solid average, take a few walks, steal 30 bases, knock a few balls into the gap, and play above-average defense is basically a guarantee to consistently put up 4+ WAR seasons.

just going back to last year, there were 4 CFers who had 4+ WAR with <10 batting runs--austin jackson, peter bourjos, cameron maybin, and chris young. if you take that down to 3 WAR, you add brett gardner, michael bourn, and nyjer morgan.

if you go back to 2010, you get brett gardner, michael bourn, chris young, angel pagan, austin jackson, and curtis granderson in the>4 WAR, <10 batting runs class of CFs. and if you take the requirement down to 3 WAR, you add marlon byrd, coco crisp, and alex rios.


anyway, the expectation for any half-decent Cfer should be 3+ WAR. if you're above 0 in batting runs, baserunning runs, fielding runs, and positional adjustment (and really, most every starting CF should be able to do all of that), then it's really kind of impossible to not achieve.


i hate to focus on WAR to this extent, but this kind of usage is really what it was designed to do.
   14. God Posted: September 05, 2012 at 07:14 AM (#4226844)
Adam played for the AAA Reno Aces out of the Pacific Coast League this year and had the most dominating performance in PCL history.


Can we all just pause for a moment to admire the stunning ignorance on display here, and wonder exactly how far one's head must be up one's rectum to make a statement like that?

Tony Lazzeri
Joe DiMaggio
Sgt. Steve Bilko
etc etc
   15. God Posted: September 05, 2012 at 07:17 AM (#4226845)
11 - Heh. I think Sandy Alomar and/or Gregg Jefferies might have won it twice.

Edit: Ah, hell, there's a list in TFA. It's Jefferies and Andruw Jones. Alomar only won the BA award once but did win Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year twice. As did Gene Conley.
   16. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4226865)
Adam played for the AAA Reno Aces out of the Pacific Coast League this year and had the most dominating performance in PCL history.

Can we all just pause for a moment to admire the stunning ignorance on display here, and wonder exactly how far one's head must be up one's rectum to make a statement like that?


I know, this person obviously knows nothing about the history of the PCL. He didn't even say "one of" the most dominating performances. It might be "one of" the most dominating performances of this season, maybe. Buzz Arlett? Smead Jolley (623 hits and 1020 TB over 1928-29)?

All this aside, I don't know how the player of the year award didn't go to Billy Hamilton and his 155 SBs.
   17. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4226871)
Adam played for the AAA Reno Aces out of the Pacific Coast League this year and had the most dominating performance in PCL history.



Can we all just pause for a moment to admire the stunning ignorance on display here, and wonder exactly how far one's head must be up one's rectum to make a statement like that?

Tony Lazzeri
Joe DiMaggio
Sgt. Steve Bilko
etc etc


Don't even have to go back that far.

Ron Kittle 1982 .345/50/144

   18. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4226876)
It might be "one of" the most dominating performances of this season, maybe.


Myers .304/24/79
Anthony Rizzo .342/23/62

edit: OK, wait, I'm confused. Who is this Adam guy referred to in post 14?
   19. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4226891)
Adam Eaton, see post 9. And that is, indeed, some AMAZING hyperbole.
   20. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4226894)
Adam Eaton, see post 9.


Ah, got it. Thanks.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4226947)
What's your pick for the most dominant season of all time?

I usually default to Gary Redus's 1978 at Billings in the Pioneer League. .462/.559/.787, with 17 HR, a 42/6 SB/CS, and a 62/31 BB/K in 253 AB. As a second baseman!

He got on base an average of 2.6 times per game, averaged a home run every four games, and nearly out-stole an entire team (Lethbridge, with 53) by himself.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4226966)
Tom Gordon 1988 - 26 GS 1.55 ERA 185 IP 263 K 96 hits allowed. Began the year in A ball, ended the year in the big leagues.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4227354)
Fangraphs interview with Wil Myers

DL: Where are you in regard to plate discipline and pitch recognition?

WM; I recognize pitches really well. It’s just that I’ve been very aggressive this year. I don’t look to take walks. My first two years, whenever I would get into a 3-0 count, I was always taking. This year I’m willing to swing no matter what the count is.



#royaling
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4227666)
Before this year, his career minor league line was something like .345/.456/.495 in a bunch of leagues that aren't Reno, i.e. are probably more pitchers than hitters leagues.


nope, played in Calif league: .277/.349/.430
and Pioneer league: .276/.347/.409

where he did "worst" (.302/.409/.429) was in the Southern League (.263/.339/.400)

so he's basically played his entire minor league career in good to great hitting environments.

A guy I'd compare him to (type wise) is Erik Komatsu
Komatsu hit .323/.413/.442 in high A, Eaton hit .332/.455/.492 in High A, but Eaton did that in the Calif League, Komatsu in the FSL (.255/.324/.364)- Komatsu was actually better against league than Eaton was

Komatsu then hit .294/.393/.416 in the Southern League, pretty much even with Eaton (small edge Eaton)
Komatsu then hit .269/.355/.394 in the IL this year (league .257/.328/.389)
Eaton's a year younger, outhit Komatsu pretty handily in AAA, but I don't see a huge gulf overall, Komatsu's overall minor league mark of .300/.386/.431 is actually not far from Eaton's when adjusted for league levels
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4227773)
So how does a guy who compiles a career of not bad to decent defensive stats in RF all of the sudden in 1 year become the 2nd coming of Greg Luginski?

Presumably in the same way that one of the greatest and most consistent hitters we've ever seen (Pujols) hits 197/235/275 for 150 PA. Or the way in which Adam Dunn goes from a 138 OPS+ and 276 ISO in 2010 to a 54 OPS+ and 118 ISO in 2011. In short, nobody has a clue but this stuff happens.

I tend to be on your side of this but it's for reasons I can't put a finger on really. We are used to seeing wild fluctuations on offense but for some reason we don't expect to see them on defense. But I can't blame the defensive stat defenders for pointing out that if "random" stuff can make Dunn one of the worst hitters in ML history (in 500 PAs) why can't random stuff make Francoeur a lousy OF in 200 flyballs?


Because, fielding is easier to be passable at(especially in the outfield), at the major league level than hitting is. You don't expect a skill that is not really as elite of a skill as hitting to have the same wild fluctuations.

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