Wil Myers played a career-high 157 games, after two injury-plagued seasons in 2014 and 2015 when he logged just 147 games combined, and the results were better than perhaps anyone could have imagined. Narrowly missing the 30-homer, 30-steal club, and falling just short of 100 runs scored and 100 RBI, Myers was a profitable piece for fantasy owners in 2016, while serving as the Padres' best offensive player. Of some concern, however, is that he faded in the second half. Myers hit 19 of his 28 homers in his first 87 games, while hitting nine in his last 70 contests, and his strikeout rate jumped from 20.6 percent in the first half to 27.6 percent in the second half, while his OPS fell from .873 to .697. Overall, Myers displayed improved skills in many facets, using the opposite field more frequently, and posting a career-low 8.0 percent swinging-strike rate that bodes well for his chances of maintaining something more in line with his first-half strikeout rate going forward, and the Padres' aggressive tendencies on the basepaths seem unlikely to change this season.
Myers is targeting a 40-homer, 40-steal season in 2017, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Myers' former teammate, Matt Kemp, infamously made a similar prediction in 2012 and fell short of his lofty 50-50 goals. It certainly would be quite the jump in power and speed for the 25-year-old first baseman after he put up career-highs in both homers (28) and steals (28) last year. Fantasy owners would be content with a repeat performance of last year and a clean bill of health, but the statement from Myers shows that he feels he is capable of bringing more to the table. The 40-40 mark seems outlandish, but it's actually more plausible than it seems at first. Last year was the first time Myers surpassed the 100-game mark in a season and his body's lack of conditioning to that sort of workload could be a big reason why his performance dropped off significantly in the second half (.286 with 19 homers and 15 steals in the first half). He even cited that his ego (after becoming an All-Star) got in the way of his consistency and contributed to his post-All-Star slump. No one is going to project Myers to reach the 40-40 mark this season, but this is a good sign for his fantasy prospects that he is not content with the tremendous growth he experienced last year.
Myers agreed to a six-year, $83 million deal with the Padres on Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. The Padres decided to lock up the 26-year-old, who is coming off of a breakout 2016 campaign in which he slashed .259/.336/.461 and mashed 28 home runs. Myers also stole 28 bases in 34 attempts. He presents a bit of long-term risk, as he missed significant time due to injuries during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. If he can stay healthy, it appears that Myers will be a cornerstone in the Padres' lineup for the foreseeable future.
Myers finished 2-for-3 including a three-run home run in Friday night's 7-2 win over the Giants. After failing to reach base with a three-strikeout night on Thursday, snapping an eight-game hit streak, Myers started things off right for San Diego in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run shot to center -- his 28th homer of the season -- giving his club a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The 25-year-old first baseman would also cross home in the Padres four-run fifth after reaching base on a single. Myers now sports a cool .261/.338/.473 line on the season.
Myers hit a solo home run and walked twice in a 1-for-2 game Monday against the Diamondbacks. Myers has seven extra-base hits and a .266/.342/.484 line in September. He had a brutal August (.216/.283/.361), but his recovery in the season's final month will go a long way in convincing people this breakout season wasn't the result of a couple early fluky months.
Myers went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored against the Braves on Thursday. This has been a breakout year for Myers, but he'd been slumping badly over his last nine games, hitting just .086 with a brutal 16 strikeouts in 35 at-bats. Of course, that's just the latest in a longer trend -- after a rip-roaring first half of the season (19 homers, 15 steals and a .286 average in 87 games), Myers has been quite pedestrian since the All-Star break, hitting barely over the Mendoza Line with just five homers and nine steals in 41 contests.