Wil Myers makes his mark at Fenway against Jon Lester

July 24, 2013 - 7:53 am
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In another universe, the scenario could have gone down much differently. Perhaps outfielder Wil Myers would have been in a Red Sox uniform when launching a home run into the Monster seats at Fenway Park against Jon Lester. After all, the Sox and Royals reportedly had some exploratory talks in the offseason involving a swap of the two players. However, Kansas City dealt the promising outfielder to the Rays as the centerpiece of a deal that sent James Shields to the Royals. And now, it appears that Tampa Bay has a makings of another up-and-coming star, with the 22-year-old joining the ranks of other young talents such as David Price and Evan Longoria to make his presence felt in the big leagues after just a month in the majors. Since making his major league debut at Fenway Park on June 18, Myers has provided the Rays lineup with a spark. As a team the Rays posted a .256/.326/.420 line before Myers was called up. Since then, the numbers have jumped to .271/.337/.416. Myers has become the cleanup hitter for the Rays, serving as protection for Longoria and providing depth to an already efficient offense. "He's been really good since he's been up here," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Actually, really consistent. He makes hard contact, as you saw tonight. He's got a lot of confidence and definitely allows us to do some different things in our lineup." The Red Sox were exposed to Myers' potent bat Tuesday night. Myers went 2-for-4, collecting a home run and a double his first two at-bats against Lester. Myers' lone out against Lester came in the top of the sixth inning, where he lined out to left fielder Mike Carp. He then grounded out against Junichi Tazawa in the eighth. "That was pretty cool," Myers said of his first-inning home run. "Especially hitting it over the Monster is a pretty cool deal, but like I said, I just got a good pitch to hit and wanted to take advantage of it." In 29 games, Myers is hitting .316/.341/.496 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. Since June 29, the Rays are 18-3. And over the last month, from June 23 through July 23, the Rays are an astounding 21-5. Myers' role in their success can't be overlooked. He ranks in the top five among major league rookies in every offensive category. He's also played steady defense in right field and hasn't committed an error in 39 chances. While the Sox got the best of the Rays on Tuesday, Myers' productive night showed that the Rays have another emerging star, ready to make his presence felt.

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