The centerpiece of the Wade Davis/James Shields deal for the Tampa Bay Rays was up-and-coming stud outfielder Wil Myers. However, just because he’s supposed to be their next superstar, it doesn’t mean they plan to rush him to the Majors next year.
According to manager Joe Maddon, he’ll likely start the season in Triple-A.
“I’ve always felt that it should be easier for a young player to make the team season in progress as opposed to out of spring training,” Maddon said. “When they make the team out of spring training expectations get raised even higher, and I think if you’re really looking for a young man to apply pressure to himself it’s then, when he makes it out of camp and Opening Day comes and all the stuff is being written and it’s tough.”
Sound logic. Especially since so many recent AL Rookie’s of the Year have been called up during the season. Maddon also said he’s more concerned about his demeanor and how he handles himself than he is with pure numbers.
“I’m more interested not in that he’s going to hit 30 homers, I’m more interested in what people think of him and how he answers question and I’m trying to determine what makes this guy tick,” Maddon said. “From what I’ve heard so far I do discern calm, I do discern self-confidence, and I do discern a team player, which is all good stuff. All that other stuff, the stats, that should take care of itself. But we have high expectations of winning, and we’re looking for that stage three player turning into a stage five player as soon possible, going from I belong to I want to win.”
So, if you were hoping to see Myers on Opening Day, it sounds like you’ll be disappointed. Also, add in the fact that the Rays usually like to keep the arbitration years under control with their top prospects, and it’s a virtual certainty that he won’t be up to start the year.