Padres Editorial: Wil Myers in Center Field

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With the multiple additions this past off-season, the San Diego Padres have many defensive questions to be answered. Can Wil Myers handle everyday duties in centerfield, at the spacious Petco Park? With Justin Upton and Matt Kemp locked in the corner outfield spots, Myers needs to play an adequate center in order to stay in the lineup. Is he capable of playing adequately in center?

So far this spring Wil Myers has played five games in center field while batting lead-off for the Padres. I have seen just about every inning he’s played in center, and I am very pleasantly surprised. I would have to admit I was skeptical about Myers in center field, but by all admissions, I was not too familiar with his skill set. He has shown the proper instincts and speed necessary to successfully field the position.

Myers has made several diving catches and attempts and has shown a decent throwing arm as well. Tracking balls deep into each gap with minimal effort is nice to see, but the outfield in Peoria is not the same as Petco Park. The true test in his abilities will be seeing him play everyday in the cavernous ballpark by the bay. Only time will tell in the regard.

So far this spring Myers is hitting .308 (4-13) with an impressive, line-drive, opposite field home run. He has shown a great eye at the plate and worked the count successfully on numerous occasions. The .438 on base percentage so far in five games is exactly what the Padres need at the top of the order. In this day and age, the prototypical lead-off man is a thing of the past, Myers should service the Padres just fine in the #1 hole. He has looked great so far.

I am very excited to see what Myers will do this spring. He really does have limitless potential. He seems very comfortable here in San Diego and with Kemp and Upton provided the offense, he doesn’t have the pressure of having to do everything for the Padres. Trusting in yourself and working hard will go a long way for this 24-year old talent. The Padres might just have their star of the future.

The game of baseball is not easy to play. The game will humble you in a heart beat, just like life. If I were Myers, I would embrace former major league talents like Dave Winfield or Don Baylor and listen to them. I mean really listen to what they have to say. They have been there and know what it takes to succeed on the major league level. Both being right-handed hitter is also nice. You have to constantly adjust to stay at the top of your game, if you don’t adjust, someone else will be playing in your spot.

Wil Myers will easily start the season in center field for the San Diego Padres. He has played nearly flawless defense so far, and has made a lot of Friar fans content with his play. Looking at his numbers career in center field, Myers has never made an error in 53 innings. I know that’s a small amount of time, but he does have 23 put outs in those 53 innings and not a single miss play. The critics of the Padres will still nitpick about the team’s defense, but in my opinion the possible defense problems will not be from center field.

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