William Bradford "Wil" Myers (born December 10, 1990) is an American professional baseball outfielder and first baseman for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals, he was later traded to the Rays in a deal which also landed former teammate Jake Odorizzi. He had a strong rookie season, winning Rookie of the Year honors and was a big part of the Tampa Bay Rays playoff push in 2013.
Myers attended and played baseball at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, North Carolina. As a freshman, Myers had a .450 batting average and was an all state third baseman. During his junior year, he went 10-0 as a pitcher. After committing to the University of South Carolina, Myers decided to enter the draft instead. In 2008, his team won a state championship.
Kansas City Royals
Myers was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the third round, with the 91st overall selection, of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft. Myers signed a contract with the Royals, that included a $2 million signing bonus, in August 2009. Before the draft, Myers committed to South Carolina during his junior year and planned to attend the SEC school.
Myers made his debut in professional baseball in 2009, when he batted .369 with 5 home runs in 84 at bats with Royals' Rookie League affiliates, the Idaho Falls Chukars and the Burlington Royals. Myers began the 2010 season playing catcher for the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League, and was named to the Midwest League All-Star team. On July 1, 2010, the Royals promoted Myers to the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League, a league generally considered more advanced than those with which he had previously played. In his Carolina League debut, Myers had three hits, including a two-run single that gave his new team a three-run lead. Myers finished the 2010 season batting .315 with a .429 on-base percentage overall, and totalled 14 home runs, 83 runs batted in, and 85 walks between his time in the Midwest League and Carolina League. He was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. Myers also played catcher during his time in the minor leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays
2013: Rookie year
On December 9, 2012, Myers was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays (along with Jake Odorizzi, Patrick Leonard and Mike Montgomery) in exchange for James Shields, Wade Davis, and a player to be named later (later chosen to be Elliot Johnson). He started the 2013 season with the Triple-A Durham Bulls of the International League. On June 17, Myers was called up to the Rays, and started in right field the next day against the Boston Red Sox. He went hitless in his first game, but recorded his first Major League hit, a single, in the second game of a doubleheader that same day.
Myers hit his first career home run, a grand slam, on June 22, 2013 off of New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium. His first hit at home was a home run off of Toronto Blue Jays starter Esmil Rogers at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 24, 2013, as part of a series of back-to-back-to-back home runs by James Loney, Myers, and Sam Fuld. On July 28, 2013, Myers hit 2 home runs off of Phil Hughes for his first career multi-homer game.
Myers won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2013, beating teammate and pitcher Chris Archer and Detroit shortstop José Iglesias. In spite of the fact that he did not join the Rays until their 70th game on June 18, Myers led AL rookies with a total of 53 RBIs in the 88 games he played. The last player to lead AL rookies in RBIs in fewer than 90 games was Hoot Evers playing for the Detroit Tigers in 1946, when he had 33 in 81 games. He also became the first ever hitter to win the award in under 100 games.
Myers entered 2014 as the Rays' everyday right fielder. On May 4, Myers hit his first career inside-the-park home run. During a game against the Boston Red Sox on May 30, Myers collided with Desmond Jennings while attempting to catch a fly ball, resulting in a stress fracture in Myer's right wrist which required a cast and significant rehab time. Myers returned to the club on August 20, initially slotted as a DH before returning to the field. He finished the year with a .222 average and 6 home runs in 87 games.
San Diego Padres
On December 19, 2014, the Rays traded Myers and Ryan Hanigan to the San Diego Padres as part of a three-team transaction, in which the Padres traded Jake Bauers, Burch Smith, and René Rivera to the Rays, the Padres traded Joe Ross and Trea Turner to the Washington Nationals, and Washington traded Steven Souza and Travis Ott to Tampa Bay.
Myers was the Padres 2015 Opening Day center fielder and manned the position through April and into May. During a game against the Chicago Cubs on April 17, Myers took advantage of a questionable ball call, then on the next pitch, he hit a go-ahead three run homer off of Brian Schlitter, giving the Padres a 5-4 victory. Myers went to the disabled list in early May with tendinitis in his left wrist and missed a month. After returning for only 3 games in June, he went back to the disabled list as the wrist continued to bother him. Myers returned from the DL on September 4 after a surgical procedure to shave down a bone spur irritating the tendon. Following his return, Myers began playing first base in addition to the outfield, with Melvin Upton, Jr. and Travis Jankowski getting most of the starts in center after the trade of Will Venable. Myers finished 2015 with a .253 batting average and 8 home runs in 60 games played.
Myers, after winning NL player of the month in June, was selected to his first all star team and named a participant in the 2016 home run derby.