The "Super Two" is cause for many questions and concerns. It's an abstract baseball prospect concept that takes over two years to determine with huge implications for the player and team.
Michael formally discussed this topic back in April when the Rays were expected to keep uber-prospect Wil Myers in Triple-A longer than two weeks, which maintains his prospect status and earns the team an extra year of control. (Oh the humanity, how would the Rays survive?)
As a refresher, here's another primer on what Super Two status means for Wil Myers and the Tampa Bay Rays.
What is the Super Two?
Michael's article linked above is quite informative on this question, but in summary, it is a floating target. Super Two status is determined by a date that can earn prospects called up for "most" of the season an extra year of market-value salary. Normally a prospect would only fight for market-value salary for the final three years of his contract through a process called arbitration. The team and player talk, and if they can't reach a consensus on a fair salary, they go before an impartial judge.
If a prospect is called up two weeks shy of a full season's plate appearances, he's under team control for an extra year. If that same prospect is called up before the "Super Two" date, he is then eligible for arbitration in the final four years of his contract, as opposed to the final three.
Why wait for the Super Two date to pass?
The last time the Rays missed out on calling a prospect up after the Super Two date, he won the Cy Young award immediately before his first year of arbitration, and his salary jumped from $4.35 M to a team friendly $10.1 M.
So if Wil Myers performs at or above expectations, that extra year of arbitration could be costly.
How is the Super Two date calculated?
The official Super Two eligible players are those who played at least two but less than three years and are in the top 22%* of service time, and played at least 86 days on the major league roster in the immediately preceding season. The 2013 season will be played over 183 days.
Previous Super Two dates have been:
2012: 2 years, 139 days
2011: 2 years, 146 days
2010: 2 years, 122 days
2009: 2 years, 139 days
According to Ryan Galla, of CAA Baseball, this season's projected determinable Super Two date is 2 years, 119 days of major league service. In other words, June 3, 2011. This is the latest it's been, and cause for concern.
The rate was raised from 17% to 22% in December 2011 through the new collective bargaining agreement, and with that added percentage, we could see the Super Two date push into July in the very near future.
Have we passed the Super Two date yet?
Probably not, and promoting any prospect between now and the next week seems like a risk. Today marks 2 years, 112 days for any players promoted from the minor leagues.
The farthest estimate that I've read for this season's Super Two date is June 15th, which marks 2 years, 107 days of service time. This would fall within Jim Bowden's predicted time frame for the Rays to promote Myers.
Could the rules change between now and the beginning of Myers's arbitration?
If Wil Myers fails to qualify for Super Two status, he would only reach arbitration years in 2017-19. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be ratified in 2016, taking effect in 2017. So luckily, the answer is no.
How is Myers doing at Triple-A Durham?
The season started off slow for Myers, but you would have no idea from his recent tear. Over his last 15 games, Myers is batting .400 with 7 home runs, 12 extra base hits, and a .442 OBP -- including five walks and twelve strikeouts.
Myers's full season thus far: .287/.361/.513, 12 HR, 28 BB, 65 K, 7 SB, 132 wRC+
Any other reasons we won't see Wil Myers soon?
Joe Maddon preaches a process of tiers for evaluating the overall performance of a prospect -- from his demeanor and the way he carries himself, to his defense, to his offense. It's not just the offense that propels a Rays prospect to the majors, it's the whole package. Myers is still transitioning to playing the outfield after getting drafted as a catcher and taking time off with a knee injury along the way.
Additionally, Myers's recent success at the plate is not a guarantee of future success. As Jonah Keri said, "We're not that far removed from him struggling mightily to make contact." Graduating to major league pitching could be difficult for the 22-year old, bare handed slugger.
Moreover, Marc Topkin reports that Maddon has had absolutely zero conversations with the front office on promoting Myers in the near future. That doesn't bode well if you're hoping for a player to be on his way to the airport.
What's my prediction for when we will see Myers?
Short of an injury to a player on the 25-man roster, I'd expect Myers in the next home stand, the final week of June.