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.
Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
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