Monday, September 25, 2023

Rookie of the Year Spotlight: Wil Myers


Some of the collections I have been working on over the years are starting to get filled out and my goals are being reached. As a result, I'm starting to slow down a little when it comes to acquiring many cards for some of my mini-collections. Now that the collection is feeling more and more complete, I wanted to start showcasing the cards I have, player by player.

One such collection is my Rookie of the Year collection. I love collecting players who have won the award as the top newcomer in each league. This wasn't born of hot rookie hype and the desire to prospect. Rather, I became fascinated thinking about the careers of guys like Eric Karros, Jerome Walton, and Tim Salmon, who experienced varying degrees of success but may not have become superstars. I thought it would be fun to have a collection that chronicles the individual career journeys of rookie stars--whether they burned bright and flamed out quickly, regressed to the mean, or wended their way to Cooperstown.
My goal has been to fill a binder page for each player who won the award in my lifetime and to fill a row for older players. I may expand that later as I expand my vintage collection. The ultimate goal of my binder is to show a card from every different uniform the player wore, from fresh-faced rookie to grizzled vet. This series is to commemorate each Rookie of the Year's career and show my collection of their cards. I placed all of the past winners into and got my order. Today we highlight

Wil Myers

Myers debuted with Tampa Bay on June 18, 2023, going 0-4 against the Red Sox. By the end of the year, he had appeared in 88 games, slashing .293/.354/.478. His OPS+ was 130 in his rookie season--the highest it has ever been up to this point in time. He was solid in right field, too, committing no errors in 142 chances. He won the AL Rookie of the Year with 23 of 30 first place votes. Jose Iglesias picked up 5 votes, and Chris Archer and Dan Straily both garnered one vote each.

The next year, Myers dropped off significantly. His 2014 OPS+ was nearly cut in half, falling to 77. It was his last season in Tampa. In the offseason, he was dealt to San Diego in a massive three-team trade. Among other things, Joe Ross was shipped from San Diego to Washington, which sent Steven Souza to Tampa Bay. A prospect by the name of Trea Turner went from San Diego to Washington.
He found some power in 2016, blasting 28 home runs--his first time hitting more than 13 in a season. He received his sole All-Star nod for the Padres that year. His best season was 2020, when he posted a .959 OPS and received his only MVP votes in a shortened season. He spent eight seasons in San Diego, mostly at 1st base. During that time, he hit .254/.330/.451 and averaged about 17 home runs. After the 2022 season, he signed with Cincinnati as a free agent. He lasted only 37 games as a Red; he was released in June of this season after batting an abysmal .189.

Since he's now nearly 33 years old and unemployed, we can probably assume his career is about over. He played in the Majors for 11 years, finishing with a career slash line of .252/326/.427, 156 homers, and 533 RBI. He proved to be a fairly versatile defender, playing every defensive position except catcher and shortstop and even pitched 3.2 innings. He appeared in one All-Star game.

My Myers collection was complete until this year. Now I lack a Reds card of him. I really like the cards in my collection. The 2018 Stadium Club Chrome Refractor is nice, but I think my favorite Myers card is the 2014 Bowman Platinum Cutting Edge Stars (1st card in the middle row, first picture).

1 comment:

  1. He may not be HOF worthy, but he still had a solid career; probably made some decent money too.