It’s not every day that a top five prospect in baseball walks through the doors of McCoy Stadium and when the Durham Bulls came into town this past weekend, Wil Myers was the star player every Pawsox fan was watching on the field.
Myers was drafted in the third round by the Kansas City Royals in 2009 out of Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC and has the potential to reach the major leagues before the end of the season with his new team, the Tampa Bay Rays
CLNSRadio.com got the exclusive opportunity to interview Myers at McCoy. Myers touched on things ranging from his reaction to getting traded from the Royals to the Rays, his season expectations and things we worked on most in the offseason to improve his game.
CLNSRadio: Did it shock you when you first heard that you where getting traded to the Rays for James Shields?
Wil Myers: Two years ago, there were some trade talks going around with the Braves. The Royals called me and told me it wasn’t true and this offseason, they said if both teams fit, a trade could happen and the trade did fit both teams. Then it was made.
CLNSRadio: How has your transition been from being traded from the Royals to the Rays so far?
Wil Myers: It’s been great. The Rays are a great organization and everyone here has been very welcoming to me. All the coaches and players are great. I felt like I couldn’t have been traded to a better organization.
CLNSRadio: How do you feel like your fitting in with this team (Durham Bulls) offensively and with your offensive approach so far?
Wil Myers: In the beginning of the year, it was a little slow obviously with the power numbers but I feel like my swing is finally coming around. My approach is getting better and I haven’t swinging the bat too well now. Other than that, I feel good at the plate and overtime it (hitting approach) will get to where it needs to be.
CLNSRadio: Have you noticed a difference from the Pacific Coast League and the International League in terms of the pitching and hitting?
Wil Myers: The pitchers and players are all the same but the ballparks (in the PCL) are a little easier to hit in because the wind blows out and the air is a little more thinner there. Other than that, it’s not much of difference.
CLNSRadio: How has the transition been for you been for since converting from catcher three years ago to outfield?
Wil Myers: It’s fine because outfield is really the easiest position to learn. I feel like it is going good and I am taking better routes while getting my work in during batting practice to get reads on the ball. Overall, I think it is going pretty well.
CLNSRadio: What do you think you worked on most this offseason to improve on for this season?
Wil Myers: I worked on my defense a lot more and on my speed. Those were the two things in my game that were subpar. I did a lot more running and sprints then taking some more reads early in the offseason off the bat.
CLNSRadio: Which player did you model your game up while growing up?
Wil Myers: I didn’t really have one person that I really modeled my game after because I didn’t really follow major league baseball that much. I was a big sports guy but didn’t really follow one particular player growing up. I liked Chipper Jones being in North Carolina and the Braves being in Atlanta but I was a big UNC Basketball fan.
CLNSRadio: Thoughts on the AL East overall?
Will Myers: The AL East is really good. The Red Sox are a pretty good team and are in first place right now. There are a lot of good players in the AL East so I think it will be a tough battle all the way till the end of the season.
CLNSRadio: Do you have that goal before the end of the season to reach the majors?
Wil Myers: I feel like it’s everyone’s plan that plays in Triple-A to be in the big leagues before the end of the year. Right now, I am not really focused on getting there to quick. I just want to go out and make sure before I get called up, I am ready and my overall game too.
CLNSRadio: What do you expect and what are some of your expectations if you do get called up to the majors this year?
Wil Myers: I just want to go out and help the team win. That’s the biggest thing for me because that is what it is all about in the big leagues. I want to play the best I can.