How pretty is that picture? The Rays new toy taking hacks wearing the new spring hat. Beautiful. People who want to see Myers up close and personal better head down to Port Charlotte because he won't be starting the season in the majors, no matter how well he does in the Grapefruit League. He's certainly going to try and at least make it a conversation first, though.
The pull quotes from hitting coach Derek Shelton get you excited in a way that only prospects can.
"It's impressive. And I think the thing that's the most impressive is the bat speed … and the way the ball comes off his bat. You can see it not only when he's hitting on the field, but even off a tee. You don't see very many people that generate that much bat speed. First day, it's exciting to see."
Sean Rodriguez also liked what he saw, saying "I didn't know he was that big. He was hitting the ball firm. How old is he again? He's hitting the ball like a grown man."
There hasn't been a buzz around a hitting prospect in Rays camp since Evan Longoria. It has me purchasing tickets to spring games already.
- Maddon provided his logic for Myers starting the year in AAA, and just about every news source has the same quotes with different emphasis:
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper both started last season in the Minor Leagues before arriving to the show with a bang. Maddon has favored that approach in the past.
"I totally believe that," Maddon said. "I guess Trout did that, and also Bryce Harper did that. [Evan Longoria] did that several years ago. I know a lot of people bend toward the argument based on the finances, free agency, arbitration or whatever. For me, it's a baseball decision. I don't make those other decisions...I just think it's easier for a young player with that kind of expectation level to get some time under his belt on the minor-league level... my experience is that I think it's easier for a guy to come up in the other circumstance." [mlb.com]
"Get it rolling, get the feel going and you know he's going well. Then walking into a big-league situation is not as difficult, I don't think, as opposed to leaving a camp with all these expectations and this hype and having to match up to that on the major-league level right out of the chute." [The Times]
- TBO.com has the autograph schedule for tomorrow's Rays Fan Fest at the Trop.
- Finally, Myers spoke with the media for about a minute in the clubhouse, and TBO.com has the full video: