Bounce Back Candidate: Wil Myers
Each week I’ll be looking in to a bounce back candidate at each position. These are going to be more of a stat based, analytical deep dive on a specific player. The projections next to the player names are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 2/01/2019-02/19/2019. Will Wil say healthy? That’s the only question that needs to be asked in his case.
Wil Myers, SD (ADP 110): 572 PA, 74 R, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 19 SB, .250/.328/.453/.781
Why, why, why, did the Padres have to go and mess up a good thing with Myers? Myers had always had issues staying healthy as an outfielder when San Diego traded for him before the 2015 season. He lived up to that billing by playing in just 60 games for them that season. The Padres decided to make Myers their everyday first baseman prior to the 2016 season in an effort to keep him healthy. He responded by having the best season of his career (.259/.336/.461/.797 with 28 HR and 28 SB). In 2017 his stats were nearly identical besides a higher K% and a lower batting average. San Diego had cracked the Wil Myers code!
Then they decided to mess it all up. By (foolishly) signing Eric Hosmer prior to 2018, they displaced their best hitter from the position that was keeping him in the lineup. They had Myers play both outfield and third base in 2018 and (not) shockingly, he missed half the season due to injury. The good news is that while he was in the lineup, his numbers were similar to the previous two seasons. He actually hit the ball harder than ever when healthy, posting the 12th highest Hard% (min. 300 PA). According to Baseball Savant (baseballsavant.mlb.com) his launch angle was significantly lower than in 2017 (9.2 compared to 15.2 degrees) but we don’t know how much of that was due to the injuries.
With the signing of Manny Machado, Myers will once again be roaming the outfield of PETCO Park. If he can somehow stay healthy, he’ll have a really formidable lineup in front of him. We shouldn’t expect 150+ games, but there are monster counting stats in this profile with just a little bit of health. I’ll call for a bounce back for Myers but not quite to the ‘16 and ‘17 levels. The above projection makes him a good buy at his current ADP. He’s still a valuable player in fantasy baseball, just make sure you plan to replace him for (hopefully) short periods of time in season.