The million dollar question everyone wants answered is “Will Wil Myers begin the season with the Rays?” And the answer also has to do with millions of dollars.
There is little chance of Myers breaking camp with the Rays this season unless they work out a long-term contract with him similar to what they did with Evan Longoria and Matt Moore early in their professional careers. The Rays, perhaps more so than any other team in the majors, are extremely conscious of each player’s service clock and have shown a history of being willing to guarantee large amounts of money to players at a young age in exchange for buying out their arbitration years long before they reach them. The thought here is that, while they can possibly get burned by guaranteeing money to relatively unproven players, if the players develop as expected they will ultimately come as an absolute freakin’ steal.
But the difference between Myers entering this season and where Moore and Longoria were at the time of their contracts is that at least those other two had some, albeit brief, major league experience. Myers has absolutely none.
Which makes it even less likely that he’ll start the season in the majors.
Myers is going to be a part of the Rays success in 2013, but if they leave him in the minors until at least late-April, they get an entire extra year of him playing in their uniform. Some teams aren’t, but the Rays are absolutely willing to sacrifice a win or two in April of 2013 in exchange for a full season down the road.
Despite this, Myers can still be a valuable fantasy player in 2013. He should hit for plenty of power, and even if he only plays in five of the six months, he should be able to hit 20 home runs and drive in plenty.
But watch for news about his ETA in the majors during spring training before you draft him. Depending on whether the Rays are progressing, or even beginning, contract talks with Myers, he could sneak onto the major league roster in the spring. More than likely however, he’ll hit the big show sometime around the beginning of May.