Rays' Myers excited to start his 'dream'
Rays prized outfield prospect Wil Myers already had to wait so long for his first big-league call-up.
Then came Monday''s crazy travel day to Boston, with his plane having to be re-directed due to some bad weather, and then stuck on the runway after landing due to lightning.
But it was all worth it knowing that on Tuesday, Myers, 22, will make his much-anticipated debut against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"It's very exciting," Myers said Monday night, while standing near the airport taxi stand. "Everything I've worked for all my life is finally coming true."
Myers, the key piece in the blockbuster offseason trade with the Royals, said his parents, Eric and Pam, along with his brother, Beau, and girlfriend, Maggie Reaves, will be in the stands tomorrow to watch him play against Boston in the day-night doubleheader. A lot of his family was in town Sunday when Myers found out he was coming up.
Myers said he was coming off the field after the bottom of the second inning with Triple-A Durham, and manager Charlie Montoyo told him he was coming out of the game and "may or may not be going to the big leagues."
Myers walked into the clubhouse and got the confirmation - a travel schedule to Boston handed to him by the team's trainer. "As soon as they let me know what was going on, I called (my family), and they came down to see me outside the stadium. It was really cool."
The Rays say Myers - last year's minor league player of the year and one of the game's top prospects - will play regularly, mostly in rightfield, but near the bottom of the order to ease the pressure off him.
"I think it'll help a lot, not having as much pressure on me,' Myers said. "I just want to help the team - wherever Joe wants me to play I'll play."
The fact Myers will start his big-league career on a road trip to Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium makes it extra special.
"It's very exciting being here in Boston and New York," Myers said. "I'm most excited about playing against the Red Sox and Yankees. Those are two teams that I saw when I was growing up, and they had all the great playres. Finally, I'll be playing against them."
Myers said he's taken "big steps" in becoming a complete player, from being more aggressive on the basepaths to taking better routes in rightfield. While he went through a rough stretch offensively earlier in the season, Myers said he was having good-at bats, but just "bad luck," hitting the ball right at people or missing his pitch.
And while the Rays finally believed he was ready this past week, Myers had that feeling recently, too.
"I really felt good the last homestand," Myers said. "I felt good at the plate, I was recognizing pitches early. I was laying off good pitches, all out of the strike zone, I felt like a big-league hitter at the plate. It was one of those things that once the Rays saw I was ready, it would be time."