Wherever he is needed, Wil Myers is ready for the San Diego Padres. He just wants to play.
The San Diego Padres are at a point where they are at a crossroads with Wil Myers.
Once deemed the face of the franchise, he has struggled to show any consistency in the past two seasons. Myers currently sits with a -0.3 WAR and a .720 OPS in 109 games and 304 at-bats for the Padres in 2019.
The franchise expects more from the right-handed hitter. His contract is about to get very hefty as Myers is due to make $22.5 million for the next three years. Including a potential $1 million buyout after the third year, the value of his remaining deal is $68.5 million. Not exactly a bargain for the Padres.
Myers contract is a concern, but the right-handed hitter still believes he can justify the pay. The Padres do too as they chose to keep the outfielder instead of dealing him for pennies on the dollar.
There is a different look to this current Padres team. Myers talked about the changes in the group and what it takes to be successful. “Yea, it’s definitely a lot different. You look around this clubhouse and see the names. We have a younger team here now but with some veterans too which is really cool,” Myers said.
He elaborated by talking about what he thinks it takes in the game of baseball to be victorious. “In today’s game, it takes that mix to win. I feel like we have that right now. It is a pretty cool clubhouse and a really good organization to be in right now. We are trending up,” Myers states confidently. Though he is struggling, he appreciates the group of men that are in the clubhouse and the support they show for him.
Andy Green and his future with the team is under deep evaluation. There are certain expectations with this youthful Padres team, and they have failed to deliver. Myers speaks about his manager and how he has grown over the years. “He has been great. It has been good to be around him for these years. It has been a wild ride, but he is a great baseball mind. He knows a lot about the game and brings a ton of value,” Myers states about his young manager. Green has over-evaluated certain things this season, and that has been an issue. Myers admires Green for his preparation. “There are not may more managers that are more prepared than him. We have an advantage there every game. He is a good guy to play for,” Myers said.
Wil Myers has played five different positions for the Padres since he was acquired from Tampa Bay in December of 2014. “It is what it is. In today’s game, it’s nice to have some value and be able to play multiple positions. For me, it helps bring value to this team. I can play center, left, first. Wherever they need me to play,” Myers said. He admits it would be nice to play one single position, but does enjoy being able to be useful. “It brings versatility to the team and makes us better. Staying in one spot would be nice, but it is nice bringing value in different places,” Myers explained.
When speaking about the lineup and preference in the batting order, Myers also indicates a “team-first” attitude. “It is one of those things where you can find comfort in having a set spot in the lineup. At the end of the day, I have to do what they say and what is best for the team,” Myers said. “They may feel leadoff is good for me that day or the seventh spot, or anything in between,” the slugging outfielder said with a smile. He insisted that he cannot control where and when he plays. The right-handed hitter does try to remain similar with his stance and swing no matter where he hits in the lineup. “You definitely want to keep the same approach wherever you are in the lineup,” Myers states.
There are certain aspects of the game of baseball that are slowly dying. Bunting and stealing bases are things that Myers does pretty well. He will steal a base when needed and is also very capable of surprising a team by laying down a bunt for a base hit. “It’s just nice to have in your back pocket. In executed those things, it comes with confidence. Those two things do come with confidence,” Myers said. He explains that he takes pride in both aspects of the game. The 28-year-old works very hard on trying to be well-rounded.
Myers’ swing is not where he wants it to be. He has struck out 121 times so far this season. “I am working on not being too mechanical. That’s really what I am doing. I am simplifying things and working on getting the barrel to the ball,” Myers explains. There is no excuse. He is not getting the job done. But there is no quit in Wil Myers. He wants to play every day and he has the aura about him of a player who could be a late-bloomer in the game of baseball. The Padres are invested in him, and he will be given every opportunity in the near future to become a more consistent player.