The Wil Myers Watch will continue beyond the spring.
In an expected move, the Tampa Bay Rays reassigned the promising outfield prospect to Class AAA Durham on Saturday. The 22-year-old High Point, N.C., native was a non-roster invitee to spring training and batted 10 for 35 (.286 average) in 17 games with one RBI in Grapefruit League play.
Myers has been the subject of much attention in the past three months, after his arrival as the centerpiece of a six-player deal with the Kansas City Royals in December that also brought talented right-hander Jake Odorizzi to Tampa Bay. For Myers, the move to Durham will be a homecoming of sorts, as his new minor-league home is located about 76 miles east from his residence in Thomasville, N.C.
“I want to observe, and I don’t want to tell him what to do,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said in February, when asked by FOXSportsFlorida.com about expectations for Myers in spring training. “I want him to do what he does naturally well, and we’ll work it from there. There’s no preconceived genius thought from our end that we’re going to impact this guy in any way. Let him go out and impact the game the way he can, and we’ll observe.”
The Rays’ observation of Myers will last longer. Some familiar faces will surround him in Class AAA. Odorizzi was optioned to Durham on Tuesday, along with fellow right-hander Chris Archer, 24, another pitcher who was thought to contend for the Rays’ No. 5 rotation spot.