Myers' big league dream 'finally coming true'
Rays' top prospect 'focused on having good at-bats' when he makes debut
ST. PETERSBURG -- Wil Myers sounded eager to get his Major League career started as he talked to reporters on a conference call Monday night.
The Rays announced Sunday they were calling up their No. 1 prospect in advance of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"It's really cool," Myers said. "It's everything I've worked for my whole life and it's finally coming true. ... I didn't know what day it was going to happen. I was just focused on having good at-bats. Just work hard at Triple-A to improve my game."
Myers met the team in Boston on Monday and will wear No. 9 once he dresses for his Major League debut.
Myers, MLB.com's No. 4 overall prospect, was hitting .286 with 14 home runs, 13 doubles, 29 walks and 57 RBIs in 63 games for Triple-A Durham. Myers struggled early in the season, but he's been raking lately, hitting .354 with 10 homers, seven doubles and 32 RBIs over his last 23 games.
"My average was dropping [early in the season], but I wasn't having bad at-bats," Myers said. "So I didn't really feel bad at the plate, because I knew it would turn around. Eventually I started getting better balls to hit and I was squaring balls up better. It was just one of those things you go through every now and then throughout the year."
Myers said he really began to feel good at Durham "two homestands ago."
"I felt good at the plate, I was recognizing pitches early in the count, laying off balls outside the zone," Myers said. "So I had a good feeling then."
Myers came to the Rays as the marquee player in the deal that sent James Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson to the Royals. Spring Training in Port Charlotte, Fla., brought Myers his first exposure to the "Rays Way" and that gave him a favorable impression of what was ahead for him.
"I kind of learned throughout Spring Training, being around the guys, being around Joe Maddon, [Evan] Longoria, they're very laid back, but they play hard as well," Myers said. "When I saw that in Spring Training, I got very excited and I hoped I'd be a part of that one day. Just play as hard as I can. They have a fun atmosphere in the clubhouse and in the dugout, so I just think it's a very cool environment to play in and I'm just looking forward to getting started."
Myers will play regularly for Tampa Bay, most likely in right field. Maddon said Myers will bat lower in the lineup at first to remove some of the pressure that will follow him no matter how often the Rays try to combat it.
"I think [hitting lower in the order] will help a lot, not having as much pressure to begin with," Myers said. "I just want to go there and help the team win, and wherever Joe wants me to play, I'll play."
Myers is living the dream of many kids, who would love nothing better than to begin their Major League careers playing in Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.
"It's very exciting being here in Boston and in New York," Myers said. "I think the thing I'm most excited about is playing against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Those are two teams that I saw when I was growing up. They had all the great players, and finally I'll be playing against them. So I think that will be the biggest thing for me."
While Myers looks forward to playing in Fenway, then Yankee Stadium on the Rays' current road trip, he's actually hit at Fenway Park before during a pre-Draft workout in late May 2009.
"It was just me and the front office for the Red Sox," Myers said. "It was very cool. I got to hit some over the Monster. So it's just a cool experience for an 18-year-old to have."
Fast forward to 2013. Myers hopes to create some "cool" moments in his Major League debut Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.