The San Diego Padres offense was dramatically changed this off-season. With all the offensive players added to the team, there was an immediate concern over who would play center field. Matt Kemp has a gold glove there from 2011, but he is clearly not capable of playing it on an every day basis.
Wil Myers was deemed the starting center fielder just before spring training, and he immediately embraced the challenge. Being the center fielder of a major league team is not an easy task by any means. There are a lot of responsibilities as far as defense goes and most people do not realize the work. Myers would have to learn a lot of spray charts in an attempt to position himself and his fellow outfielders in the right spot.
Myers has long strides and is fairly quick to the ball in center field. He has taken charge and I have witnessed him call off both Kemp and Justin Upton on fly balls. That’s what you want from your center fielder. He has to be aggressive and want every fly ball hit in the outfield. I was skeptical about Myers being able to handle every day duties on the field, but he has shown me that he will be more than adequate. A very impressive start from the young player.
When the immortal Tony Gwynn came up with the Padres he was considered a defensive liability. He wasn’t all that quick and his arm was average at best. Gwynn worked his tail off and became a great fielder. Earning 3 gold gloves for his work in the field. Point is that Myers is young enough to work on his craft and improve. He has shown the eagerness to learn and he is in a learning process wight now. If and when miscues happen, we as fans need to be patient and take solace in the fact that Wil Myers is 24 years old, and should be with the San Diego Padres for the next half decade or so. If Myers starts to figure it out in the next season or two, I would advise locking him up long-term extension.
The bat that Myers flashes is still in consistent, but you have to take in the fact that he is batting lead-off presently. Batting in the #1 hole is not in Myers future, if you ask me. He should be a middle of the order hitter, with the ability to hit second if he cuts down on the strike outs. As patient as Padres fans need to be with Myers on the field, his bat too will require a lot of tolerance. It’s just not all the way there quite yet.
His swing is a just little off right now. He tends to lift the ball instead of driving right through it. He finishes his swing upright almost like a gofer, he in my opinion, needs to make an adjustment. Myers makes consistent hard contact, and once he stops lifting he will hit line drives all over the field. Wil Myers has the ability to be a perennial All-Star once he figures it all out. You just have to make constant adjustments to succeed in the major leagues. You cannot be set in your ways and you must listen to outside criticism.
The future for Wil Myers seems bright in San Diego. For a player who had never once even visited the city of San Diego, he is adjusting well. The city will embrace him if he continues to hustle and have fun. That is really what Padres fans admire most. Any player can hustle down the line on a weak ground ball. Myers has busted his tail every time and I love seeing it. That kind of effort will go a long way towards keeping fans on your side. The additions GM A.J. Preller made were monumental, and Myers could very well be the steal of the off-season for the San Diego Padres.