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Experts weigh in on new Rays prospect Tobias Myers

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A look at what we can expect from the young right-handed pitcher.

@king_tobiasm

Earlier this week we introduced you to the relatively unknown prospect Tobias Myers, the Baltimore RHP from Winter Haven, FL that Tampa Bay acquired in the Tim Beckham trade.

Already performing well in the Class-A NY-Penn league at age-18, here’s what the prospect experts have to say about the new starting prospect.

Eric Longenhagen, Fangraphs

1:17

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Let’s talk about the big trade from yesterday: the Rays acquired Tobias Myers from the Orioles for Tim Beckham. Who is this 2016 6th round pick with the 2.11 FIP in low A?

1:20

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, let’s talk about this guy because I think he’s very interesting. Excellent athlete. Was a two-way player in high school and was committed to play both ways in college. Was a 6th rounder who took an under slot $225K (I think that’s right, if not it’s close). Has added some velo, sits comfortably in the low-90s, has some breaking ball feel, confident kid. Not very projectable body but I’m kind of intrigued by the overall package. Obviously the numbers are impressive so far.

That lack of a projectable body, despite some statistical overachievement, is likely what led Longenhagen to slap a 40-grade on Myers overall when he ranked the prospects traded ahead of yesterday’s deadline:

34. Tobias Myers, RHP, TB (Acquired from BAL for Tim Beckham)Myers was a smooth two-way high school prospect who was committed to play third base and pitch at the University of South Florida. Baltimore drafted him as a pitcher in the sixth round last year, and signed him for an under-slot bonus. Myers has been great at Aberdeen, striking out 35 in 29.2 innings and walking just six. His fastball sits in the low-90s and has life up in the zone. He has also shown feel for spinning a curveball.

The Fangraphs projection system, KATOH, loves what the 18-year old RHP Myers has done against players two-to-three years his senior.

Among the prospects traded, Myers receives a 10th overall ranking:

By Longenhagen’s appraisal, Rutherford and Cease (who are well entrenched in the Top-100 prospects list, where Casey Gillaspie was at the start of the season) are both 50-grade prospects. According to the projection system, Myers is ahead of them.

Perhaps that is what led the Rays to appraise the Class-A arm as equal to the value of an above average major league infielder.

John Manuel, Baseball America

Listed at 6-foot, 193 pounds, Mathias has a loose arm and projection despite his lack of height. He’s shown a fastball up to 93 mph and throws a curveball and nascent changeup.

[Baseball America]

Manuel, in describing the change as nascent, is essentially calling it new. That’s not a referendum on its projectability, but:

Greg Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus

You normally don’t see 18-year-old short-season pitchers getting dealt in a 1-for-1 deal like this, but the Rays are getting a promising young right-hander to groom at the lower levels of the minors. Listed at just six foot, and perhaps standing shorter than that, Myers' stuff plays bigger than his size. The former sixth-round pick has a loose arm and athletic motion that helps him sit at 92-93 mph throughout an outing, touching the mid-90s at times. The fastball also has some arm-side run to it that can play for strikeouts, and he does a decent job of keeping it in the strike zone for such an inexperienced starting pitcher.

His secondaries and command have a long way to go, however. He’s a three-pitch hurler at the moment, with his curveball flashing some tightness and late break, even though he struggles to command and consistently throw it with a solid break. He’s also learning a changeup, but has a ways to go in making it a workable offering. Still, Myers’ athleticism, loose arm action, and compact delivery make you think that, given his youth, he can really start honing these offerings toward average as he climbs a system. The Rays have acquired a project, but Myers shows considerable talent and has a chance to remain a starter long term. If not, his projected quality velocity should play well in the bullpen. There’s certainly talent to work with here.

[Baseball Prospectus]

Goldstein provides the most in depth review of Myers’s secondary pitches, and the verdict is “a work in progress” but for an 18-year old that’s completely acceptable.

At this stage what you want is projectability, and beyond his size, it would certainly appear Myers has that going for him.

It’s easy to look at Myers’s performance in Class-A and get over-excited, but maybe the numbers don’t lie. The timing of the Tim Beckham Trade was curious, but perhaps we will be calling this the Tobias Myers Trade ten years from now.

Read more about the controversial trade: