#1 Wil Myers
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft
From: High Point, NC
Entering the 2012 draft, Wil Myers was considered a clear first round talent. Some mock drafts had him going as high as the early teens, while most had him going to the Red Sox late in the first round. Instead Myers $2 million asking price scared off teams as he began to slide in the draft. Eventually, in the third round the Royals nabbed Myers and agreed to pay him his demands.
Myers began his professional career as a catcher. After an awesome 2010 campaign the Royals decided that his bat was just too advanced to be held back by a glove that still needed a ton of work. Another consideration was likely Salvador Perez's emergence as a legitimate catching prospect. The Royals hoped that not only would a move to right field allow Myers to reach the Majors faster, but they also hoped that the transition would keep him healthier throughout what they envisioned to be a long and a productive career.
Unfortunately, 2011 proved to play out quite differently than the Royals anticipated. Myers didn't receive the position change with the ease that many expected. At times he struggled and would look lost in the outfield, and at other times he was criticized for being indifferent to the position change. Low energy and not going after balls with a desire to prove that he belonged in the outfield.
Myers season took a turn for the worst, when he injured his knee on a rainy night while returning to his apartment. The injury caused a gash that required stitches and eventually would become infected. In total the injury kept Myers out of action for roughly a month, and you have to wonder how much of his poor results were a result of the incident.
I say poor results, only because of their relevance to our expectations for Wil Myers. In actuality, Myers' 2011 numbers weren't anything to be ashamed of his .746 OPS was basically league average for the circuit and when you consider that he was the third youngest player in the Texas League behind only Jonathan Villar and Mike Trout you understand how impressive of a player he is.
Myers resolidified his standing as one of the top hitting prospects in the game, though, with an excellent showing in the Arizona Fall League. In the AFL, Myers blistered the competition to the tune of a .360/.481/.674 line. Also, of note were the comments of Myers improved outfield defense. AFL numbers have small sample written all over them, but the strong performance reaffirmed why we are all so excited for this kid.
Myers continues to project as a plus hitter that projects for 20-25 home runs annually. He has average speed and his arm is a weapon in right field. He'll open the season in Northwest Arkansas, and thanks to the Royals have both their corner outfielders under team control for at least two more years there is no reason to rush Myers. For now he is the heir apparent for Jeff Francoeur and could force the Royals hand sooner rather than later.
Picture taken from MiLB.com