When Wil Myers came up with Tampa Bay during the 2013 season, it was looking like he was going to be a mainstay in fantasy lineups. He showed power during his time in the minor leagues, and he was racking up a surprising amount of stolen bases. He battled an injury bug, and found himself dealt to San Diego prior to the 2015 season. Still, the potential was there, and after a mediocre inaugural season with the Padres, he hit the ground running in 2016 finishing the season slashing .259/.336/.461 with 28 home runs, 94 RBI, and 28 stolen bases. Showing that 2016 wasn’t a fluke, he followed up the 2016 season slashing .243/.328/.464 with 30 home runs, 70 RBI, and 20 stolen bases in 2017. He was looking like a solid middle-round draft pick, but the 2018 season, and this season, have been complete let downs. Myers has seen his on-base and slugging percentages take a dip, and power has been non-existent to say the least. This week, I want to take a deep look into Myers’ struggles in “That’s Amore! What’s Causing Wil Myers’ Two-Year Power Outage?
After slashing a combined .251/.332/.462 with 58 home runs, 168 RBI, 48 stolen bases, 11.8 BB%, and 29.1 K% in 2016 and 2017, Myers has slashed a combined .239/.319/.425 with 24 home runs, 71 RBI, 22 stolen bases, 11.3 BB%, and 34.8 K% in 2018 and 2019. The number that immediately jumps out is his increase is strikeout percentage. Myers has been striking out at an alarming rate, and the thumb injury he sustained in late-April could be something he’s dealt with all season long. Add in a foot issue he dealt with last season, and it’s easy to pinpoint health as a main factor into Meyers heading for a second-straight dismal season.
Entering Sunday, Myers was tied for 10th, in Major League Baseball, in strikeouts (118). Not only is his 39.7% strikeout percentage alarming, it’s one of the highest percentages in the league. It’s clearly been the most devastating factor aiding his dismal season, and higher than his 2018 K% (30.1%). Compare it to 2016 (26.7%) and 2017 (31.7%), and it’s easy to see why this is turning out to be his worst season since he started accumulating everyday at-bats in 2016.
Looking further into the numbers, Myers’ monthly splits have shown a higher number of groundballs and a high Soft% compared to low Hard% in months that have posted the worst numbers. June was arguably his worst statistical month, and Myers had a high number of groundballs and his highest amount of soft contact percentage. He’s stayed consistent with his Med%, but his Soft% grew from Mar/Apr through May and June, followed by sporadic Hard%. I’d argue that he’s had an horrendous season in terms of getting ahead in the count, as a majority of his at-bats have been in 1-2 and 2-2 counts. It’s nearly impossible to be successful when a hitter is in a pitcher-favorable count, and during his 1-2 and 2-2 counts Myers has struck out in 68.6% of these pitcher-favorable counts. Again, health is a major concern as he’s dealt with lower-body issues in past years, and a thumb injury is no joke to a hitter. When a batter is gripping a bat, they’re continuously using the muscles in the hands, and if he has any sort of resemblance to the thumb injury he had in late April, there’s a great possibility inflammation is in the thumb which isn’t going to help his cause by any means.
Regardless of how bad Myer’s 2019 season has been, he’s had success over the past month. Over the last month, Myers has slashed .261/.333/.391, and breaking it down even further, Myers has slashed .289/.357/.447 over the past two weeks, and .348/.400/.522 in the last week. We’ve seen Jesus Aguilar to a step forward since being dealt to Tampa Bay after an horrendous 3.5 months into the season, and it’s looking like Myers may finally take a similar step.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Myers? As I mentioned above, Myers has shown glimpses of getting over his season-long slump over the past month. Throughout the season, a majority of his at-bats have come hitting 6th (97 at-bats) and 2nd (51 at-bats). Recently, San Diego has kept Myers in the two-hole, and I’m on the fence with him hitting high in the order. Yes, if he’s finally putting it together he can have success in this spot, but with San Diego only 7.0 games out of a Wild Card spot, it’s almost too important to have a hitter, that’s struggled all season, hitting towards the top of the lineup. Fernando Tatis Jr. has had a solid rookie campaign, and I’d prefer him to hit second, and keep Myers in the 6th spot, or lower, until I’m certain he’s truly turned things around. I’d suggest monitoring how Myers performs the rest of the way. He’s been dropped in numerous leagues, and could be an intriguing waiver wire add if he start firing on all cylinders. Getting into favorable counts, making solid contact, and limiting strikeouts are the most important factors in Myers turning the page and trying to string together a respectable final months of the 2019 campaign.