Myers named Minor League Player of Year
Outfielder only seventh player honored by both Baseball America, USA Today
KANSAS CITY -- The honors keep piling up for Royals prospect Wil Myers.
The Triple-A Omaha outfielder was named Minor League Player of the Year on Tuesday by both Baseball America and USA Today.
"I actually found out, probably like two weeks ago, when I had to do the interview. I was really excited about it. It was a real honor to be able to be selected for that," Myers said, referring specifically to the Baseball America honor.
He's the third Royals prospect to earn the distinction from Baseball America, joining Tom Gordon (1988) and Alex Gordon (2006). Myers is the first Royals prospect to be so honored by USA Today, and he's the seventh player to earn the Baseball America and USA Today awards in the same season. The others are Andruw Jones, Rick Ankiel, Josh Beckett, Jeff Francis, Jason Heyward and Jeremy Hellickson.
Myers, ranked as the Royals' No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, and the Storm Chasers wrapped up the regular season on Monday in Albuquerque, qualifying for the postseason as they'll try to repeat as Pacific Coast League champions.
For Myers, his regular season concluded with impressive numbers. In 134 Minor League games -- 99 with Omaha and 35 to start the season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas -- the 21-year-old outfielder hit 37 home runs, the second most in the Minor Leagues this season. Combined, he batted .314 with 109 RBIs, 26 doubles and a .987 OPS.
"This season, I just wanted to come out and have a good year," Myers said. "If you told me I was going to have 30-plus home runs at the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have really believed it. I changed a little bit of my stance. I stood more upright, and it helped me have more leverage. Being in the middle of the order, I wanted to have more run production, more RBIs, more home runs. I was able to do that this year. For me, I feel like it was a good year for me to have."
Kansas City fans got to see Myers in action when he played in the Futures Game during this year's All-Star festivities at Kauffman Stadium. After his appearances there and in the Triple-A All-Star Game, however, his season took its first dip.
According to Myers, trade rumors involving Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur had Myers uncertain about the future and whether or not he'd be asked to join the big league team. Admittedly, Myers said it affected his play.
"I struggled the month after the All-Star break pretty bad," Myers said. "I definitely let the trade talks get to me a little bit. I had a pretty good August, and I finished up the season strong at Albuquerque. I felt like I didn't have a great start to the second half, but I felt like I finished strong."
But Myers straightened things out and concluded the season in the same way he began it. He hit .349 over the regular season's final 10 games and finished on a nine-game hitting streak, including going 10-for-19 in the last series against Albuquerque.
The Storm Chasers start postseason play on Wednesday at home against Albuquerque. Myers said he doesn't think he'll be called up to the Royals this season, but he already has a plan for the offseason.
"First of all, I'm just going to take a break and probably not do anything for probably a month," Myers said. "And then I'll get back home and start working out again. I've got to ease back into it and then do the same exact thing I did last offseason."
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.