I had a hard time with this one as I have always been a big fan of Robbie Erlin and he is finally healthy. The only thing is that I don’t see Erlin getting drafted in all but the deepest of leagues and I honestly have no faith that he can make it even 50 IPs. However if he does make 20 starts, they could be really good.
Now onto the real pick: Wil Myers. Wil Myers has always been a ball of potential who has never been on the field long enough to put up a great fantasy season. The latest injury was to his wrist. As you might know, wrist injuries are frightening for baseball players as they tend to sap power. It would be nice to see Myers play well in spring training before taking the plunge, but many of us won’t have that option.
Over 60 games last season, Myers was great with a fantasy line of 8 HR, 40 R, 29 RBI, 5 SB, a .253 AVG and a .336 OBP. Prorated over 150 games that comes out to 20 HR, 100 R, 73 RBI, and 13 SB which is damn good albeit with a mediocre BA. The question now becomes was any of that legit. Outside of the runs the answer is yes.
2015 Myers was much closer to 2013 Myers than 2014 Myers which was a big relief to everyone who owned him. The one main difference being batting average (.293 in 2013 versus .253 last year). One explanation here is the BABIP which was .362 in 2013 and .302 last year. .302 seems more of a legitimate number given that his LD rate was only 16.9% last year and only 17.7% for his career. The true Myers BA probably fits somewhere in the .250s with upside if he can increase his LD rate. Myers did have his highest BB rate (10.7%) and lowest K rate (21.7%) in 2015 so there are definitely some signs of improvement in plate discipline. If that can bleed over into hitting better pitches, the LD rate could increase.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: home runs. A lot of how you value Myers this year is dependent on just how quickly you think the power comes back. I am on board with him having his power stroke all season long, but I’m not overly confident about it. I don’t quite think Myers gets to 20, but I think high teens is a reasonable projection. His HR/FB last year was 13.6% which is pretty good. He hit five of his eight HRs on the road last year and I would expect that to continue. As bad as it is to play in Petco and have division games in AT&T, he does get the bonus of playing in Coors and Chase which are both near the top in HRs for RHB.
Wil Myers should be a full time 1B in 2016 but he did qualify for OF eligibility (CF if you play in a league that distinguishes). I haven’t seen him ranked very highly at either position and I get the pessimism. However this is a guy I would absolutely take a flyer on. I wouldn’t go reaching five rounds on him, but he will definitely be a guy I target in drafts. In keeper leagues and dynasties, Myers is another guy I’d be trying to pry away from an owner if I could get him at a discount. Petco might always limit his power upside and the batting average may never be an asset, but he should contribute solid numbers in four categories.
Steamer projects Myers for 21 HR, 66 R, 69 RBI, 10 SB, a .257 AVG and a .330 OBP. As I’ve stated before, I think the HR projection might be a bit optimistic, but I buy the rest of the numbers completely. I’ll give Myers 18 HR, 75 R, 65 RBI, 12 SB, a .258 AVG and a .331 OBP. If Myers does pop this year as a 25 year old, the time to get him at a discount might be over forever.