Prior to the 2015 season, the Padres acquired Wil Myers in a three-team trade that saw them surrender a couple of prized prospects in right-hander Joe Ross and five-tool player Trea Turner. When Myers suffered through injuries and Ross showed promise in his first taste of the big leagues in 2015, it initially appeared as though the Padres had gotten the short end of the deal.
But then San Diego moved Myers from the outfield to first base permanently at the start of last season, and he put together a stellar first half, earning him the first All-Star selection of his career. In 87 games before the 2016 All-Star break, Myers hit .286/.351/.522 (134 wRC+) and swiped 15 bases. Suddenly, it looked like the Padres were right to bet on Myers reaching the potential he flashed in his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign in 2013, producing a lethal combination of speed and power.
In the second half, however, Myers fell off dramatically, slashing just .226/.316/.381 (91 wRC+). Despite the dropoff, he ended the season with a solid .797 OPS and fell just a couple of stolen bases and homers shy of a 30-30 season, collecting 28 of each. This was also the first time in the 26-year-old’s short career that his season wasn’t marred by injuries since his rookie year in 2013.
Banking on Myers’ first half being more reflective of his true talent level rather than his disappointing second half, the Padres decided to lock Myers up for the foreseeable future, signing him to a six-year, $83 million contract extension that will keep him in San Diego through the 2022 season. The front office envisioned him to be the type of player who will keep fans in seats while the club endures an arduous rebuilding process, as well as a player who could be a cornerstone of future contenders.
But now, a few months into his new contract, Myers has produced middling results. He is currently hitting an unspectacular .264/.339/.490 (118 wRC+) with 16 home runs. For comparison’s sake, the average major-league first baseman has produced a 120 wRC+ this year. Continue reading at Padres Prospectus.