Myers on his way with Futures appearance
Royals prospect delivers RBI for winning U.S. team
PHOENIX -- No matter how one looks at it, Wil Myers is in a good place. And by that we don't necessarily mean Chase Field, for Sunday's XM All-Star Futures Game.That is a prestigious situation, but even better is being a hot 20-year-old outfield prospect in an organization with an admired farm system. Myers was part of the Royals' Sizzling Six-Pack of preseason prospects -- three of whom have already reached Kansas City and are making major contributions to the Royals. Five months shy of his 21st birthday, Myers may not be next. But being the United States' starting Futures right fielder is a definite sign that he's on the way. "It's awesome to be here," Myers, the High Point, N.C., product said before going hitless, but driving in a second-inning run with an infield grounder in the U.S.'s comeback 6-4 victory. While not bad, not quite as impressive as Myers' pre-game: He spent batting practice littering the left-field grandstand with balls.
World right-hander Kelvin Herrera, the Royals' other representative, came on in the eighth to try to protect the World's 4-3 lead, but was treated harshly by the top of the U.S. lineup. Run-scoring doubles by Tim Beckham, Austin Romine and Nolan Arenado chased Herrera after two-thirds of an inning in a 6-4 hole."It's definitely cool to feel one step closer to where you want to be," Myers said. "I was excited to be able to get picked for this." "Able" meant being recovered from a nasty and scary right knee staph infection that had sidelined Myers for six weeks and after which he is still trying to hone his baseball skills. He considers his .271 average, with only three homers and 20 RBIs in 52 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, very uncharacteristic. And it is: In 2010, he totaled 14 homers and 83 RBIs while hitting .315 between two Class A stops, taking his place in what the executive of another club described as the Royals' "embarrassment of riches." "Hitting .270 is OK, but it's something I need to get better. I've got work to do with my swing," Myers said. "My point of contact is too far in front. I'm pulling a lot. Normally, I am a pull-hitter, but now I'm grounding to third base every at-bat. That's not where I want to be." Where he wants to be is in Kansas City. Half of that preseason Sizzling Six-Pack is already there: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy. "But we still got a bunch of good players [in the waiting room]. There's a bright future ahead for Kansas City," Myers said. "It definitely makes you feel like you're on the fast track." Could Myers be on an even faster track had he stayed behind the plate? He was drafted as a catcher in the the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and played the position through his first two professional seasons. But he changed positions this year, with the Royals feeling his offense and speed would get him to the Majors quicker as an outfielder. But now incumbent Kansas City catcher Jason Kendall is looking at the possible end of his career after re-tearing his rotator cuff at age 37. And the Royals' lead placeholder behind the plate is 35-year-old Matt Treanor. Myers is too focused on the future to contemplate what-might-have-beens. "It was awesome to be here. I'm back to being 100 percent, and getting back in the flow of things," Myers said following the second big league park experience of his young career. On April 2, his Northwest Arkansas club met the Royals' Triple-A Omaha affiliate in an exhibition in Kauffman Stadium -- the site of the 2012 All-Star Game.