Wil Myers is reportedly headed to the San Diego Padres, with the Tampa Bay Rays agreeing to trade the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year winner. Myers played in nearly an identical number of games in 2014 as he did in 2013, missing time due to a wrist inury. His production went down considerably from a .293 batting average, 13 home runs and 1.9 WAR in 2013 to .222 with six home runs and -0.9 WAR in 2014.
This was the second time that Myers has been dealt. He was previously traded from the Royals to the Rays in the 2012-2013 offseason in a deal that netted the Royals James Shields and Wade Davis.
What are the statistical storylines behind a Myers deal?
This is an unusual kind of trade
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Myers will be the first Rookie of the Year winner to switch teams within two years of winning the award since Butch Metzger and Pat Zachry won in 1976 and were traded a season later.
Zachry was traded from the Reds to the Mets as part of a deal that brought the Reds back future Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver.
A notable drop-off
Exactly 200 players have had at least 300 plate appearances in each of the last two seasons. Only five of them experienced a larger drop-off in OPS from 2013 to 2014 than Myers did (.831 to .614).
Myers’ performance was down even before he suffered the injury at the end of May that sidelined him until late August.
He had a slashline of .227/.313/.354 before the injury. He came back a bit rusty, posting a .213/.263/.268 slashline and only one home run in 127 at-bats after returning.
The reason that the Padres would want Myers is because of his potential. He wowed at times in 2013 after being heralded as one of the game’s top prospects.
When Myers is going good, he crushes pitches at the top of the strike zone and up around the eyes.
He hit a major-league best .390 against pitches in the upper-half of the strike zone and above in 2013.
He saw a lower rate of pitches up there last season (the rate decreased from 36 percent to 30 percent and his performance dipped against them as well (he hit only .209 in at-bats ending in those pitches).
A revamped outfield
The Padres deal for Matt Kemp is not yet finalized, but if it is, the team will have done a significant overhaul of its outfield.
Padres outfielders ranked last in the majors in slugging percentage (.347) last season. Their 29 home runs ranked fourth-worst.
Myers had a .478 slugging percentage as a rookie. Kemp slugged .470 in 2013 and .508 in 2014. He slugged .606 after the All-Star Break last season.
One potential weakness: Defense
PETCO Park is spacious and a challenge to hit in. There’s also a lot of ground for outfielders to cover.
Kemp ranked last among outfielders last season with -23 Defensive Runs Saved. In 150 games in right field, Myers has compiled -11 Defensive Runs Saved.
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