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 (neck) went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in Sunday's spring loss to the Reds. Myers had to exit Thursday's contest after experiencing some tightness in his neck, but the injury was never considered serious. The 26-year-old confirmed that sentiment by going 3-for-6 in two starts this past weekend. He will continue to see action in the final couple weeks of spring training before assuming his role as the Padres' everyday first baseman and middle-of-the-order power threat.
Myers exited Thursday's game with what has been confirmed as a neck spasm, Dennis Lin of the Union-Tribune reports. "The spasm resolved. The report I got was he's completely fine," said manager Andy Green on Thursday. Myers was replaced by a pinch-runner during Thursday's spring training game against the Royals after going from first to third. According to Lin, Myers was seen walking with team trainers after his exit. Fortunately, it appears that Myers' neck spasm is no longer an issue. That said, the Padres may opt to hold Myers out for a day or two as a precautionary measure.
Myers was pulled from Thursday's game against the Royals with a tight neck, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. There's yet to be an indication regarding the severity of Myers' ailment, but more information should be available in the near future. As a precaution, the club may opt to rest its hard-hitting first baseman for a couple days to avoid further injury, but there's no reason to believe his Opening Day availability is in jeopardy.
Myers went 2-for-2 with a solo homer run in Thursday's spring training loss to the Brewers. The 2016 All-Star continues his hot spring, batting .412 (7-for-17) with a pair of homers and a pair of steals. Myers is coming off of a career year in which he delivered 28 home runs and 28 stolen bases for the Friars. The key to his breakout season was his ability to stay healthy and play over 100 games for the first time in his young career, something that can be attributed to his conversion from an outfielder to a first baseman. Myers said he is targeting a 40-40 season in 2016, which isn't as improbable as it initially sounds considering he is entering his prime years, but he will have tremendous value at a shallow first base position even if he simply repeats last year's totals.
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.