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Rays Top 50 Prospects: No.15, Tobias Myers

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(Sandy Tambone / MiLB.com)

One of the most electric arms in the system, the next guy on our list hails from Florida and may prove to be a trade steal when all is said and done.

No.15, RHP Tobias Myers, 19 yrs old

Born: August 5th, 1998 in Winter Haven, FL

Height/Weight: 6’0” 193 lbs Bats/Throws: R/R

Signed: by the Orioles for $225,000, selected in 6th rd of the 2016 MLB draft

Twitter handle: @King_tobiasm

Twitter profile statement:Pro athlete Tampa Bay Rays

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked as the 15th best Rays prospect after 2017
  • Ranked as the 11th best New-York Penn League prospect for 2017

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 14th
  • Low: 21st

Tobias Myers: Abilities

  • Above-Average Control
  • Fastball that works in the 93 to 96 MPH range
  • Sharp Curve
  • Developing Change Up

Grades for ‘18 (Pipeline): FB: 60 | CU: 55 | CH: 45 | Ctl: 50 | Overall: 45

  • Abilities notes: The package of plus control, fastball, and curve already place a very high floor on Myers as a back-end reliever or starter. What remains to be seen is whether he can sharpen up all areas of his game while also improving his change up (and other possible additions to arsenal) to be effective as a high end starter.
  • The overall grade given by MLB pipeline this season is slightly below where it needs to be in my opinion; would put it at the 50-55 High Risk level. You’ll see why below.

Joined the Rays by way of....

Trade at 2017 deadline for Tim Beckham — a stunner, to be honest, and one that had a Rays fandom wondering just what in the world was going on.

We’ll never know how much of a direct impact this trade had on the team as a whole, but we do know that the core of the lineup slumped badly from this point onwards, possibly costing the team a run at a wild card spot.

As we can now see, however, there is a lot of value to be had in Myers, and if he ever reaches his ceiling this trade will prove to be a lucrative one for the Rays for years.

Latest Transaction: assigned to Hudson Valley Renegades August 5th, 2017

Note - With the acquisition of Myers the Rays were able to place three prospects in the top eleven of the NYP League Top 20 rankings completed by BA - no small feat (Brendan McKay 1st, Vidal Brujan 5th, Tobias Myers 11th).

(Sandy Tambone / MiLB.com)

Facts, Honors, and Awards

  • While pitching for Winter Haven prior to the 2016 draft, Myers was 8-2 with a 1.51 ERA in 69.2 innings, striking out 79 in the process.
  • After being selected by the Orioles, Myers had this to say,

“I just got to thank God, honestly, for giving me the ability to play baseball for as long as I have already and stay healthy.“ “I love competition and I feel like I pitch better against better competition,” Myers said. “I’m excited to see how everything goes.”

  • Made a post-season start for Hudson Valley in 2017, lasting 4.1 IP with 3 HA, 4 BB, 5 SO and 1 ER.
  • While some call Myers “undersized” for a starting role, he’s only 19 and will be 20 in August, so it’s still possible he adds an inch or two to his height. (not that I think it matters much in this case)
  • Interestingly, once with the Rays, Myers saw his ground ball rate move above 50%, reaching 51.1 % - but simultaneously saw his fly ball rate move up significantly to 37.8 % from 28.4 % - both of those increases came out of the line drive percentage which dropped from 23.5 % to 11.1 %. (small sample, but something that may indicate changes made to pitching approach made post-trade)
  • Minor League Ball’s John Sickels has an ETA of 2021 on Myers after ranking him 26th.

Stats

Tobias Myers 2017

GP 12
GP 12
GS 12
IP 56
W 4
L 2
Sv (SvO) 0 (0)
H 45
BB 10
SO 73
HR 1
AvgA 0.211
Whip 0.980
BAbip 0.312
LOB% 52.1%
GB% 49.1%
FB% 34.2%
HR/FB% 3.1%

Stats Notes: It should be noted that Myers dealt with some questionable defensive support while with the Orioles. A comparison of his 2017 season before and after the trade to the Rays shows that 7 of the runs allowed while with the O’s were unearned, and while with Hudson Valley (HV) all of his runs were earned. Another note is that through 5 starts with HV, Myers only walked 4 and struck out 38 - quite the performance.

Interesting Comparison: Sonny Gray

Gray is slightly shorter than Myers at 5’10” and slightly lighter, but both are predominantly Fastball - Curve right handers with nasty movement on their pitches. If Myers is able to add in the occasional slider and refine his change up as is expected, he’d essentially have the same repertoire as Gray.

Gray went the college route vice minor league ball, so we can’t compare stats to this point, but Gray reached the AA for a short stint at the end of his age 21 season, which is likely the same age Myers gets his first taste of AA.

Both Gray and Myers are a SO per inning or better potential guys, but where Myers may actually hold an edge at the same age is in the BB category. While at Vanderbilt, Gray walked 3.07/9 in 2009 (same age) and 3.98/9 in 2010 - his first two seasons in College. Myers, meanwhile, is already proving to have more control ability with a very efficient 1.61 BB/9 overall in 2017. And this comes while striking out as more in pro ball (11.73 per 9 IP) than Gray struck out in College his first year (11.05 per 9 IP).

Notes for 2018 and beyond

What this all points to is how advanced Myers’ stuff is with control that’s well above the majority of his peers. If you’ve read through these rankings pieces, you’d have noted how much control Rays prospect Mikey York has and how highly it’s though of, as well as most recently how great a projection Austin Franklin’s top pitches have. Well, Myers has York like control with Franklin like stuff - something that should be extremely exciting to consider for Rays fans.

A confident righty with a very high floor, Myers is the type of arm an organization can feel confident in trading for - even if that arm is below the LoA level and it’s heads up for a single major league player that can man two of the toughest positions in baseball. At least that’s what the Rays told the world when they traded Tim Beckham for Tobias Myers, and it should indicate just how highly they rate Myers overall.

Above-average control with high velocity and movement doesn’t come around very often, and it seems the Rays seized the opportunity to add that package here. Having it paired with a plus curve and confidence on the mound that you look for in a dominant starter really sets the tone and provides questions about where Myers may begin the 2018 season.

While it’s possible that Myers could handle the HiA level from the beginning, he does have work to do in certain areas - such as with his change up and some mechanics. The need tp gain confidence and consistency with both likely lands him in LoA Bowling Green, but if he pitches as is expected he should get at least a taste of HiA in Charlotte before the season is through.

The rotation he’ll likely be with in Bowling Green is expected to be extremely talented and will include some others from the Hudson Valley championship team - such as the highly ranked Austin Franklin - making competition a healthy motivator among this group.

I used to read a lot about Marcus Stroman being “undersized” as he came up and how that gave him a ceiling of a “mid-rotation starter” and am hearing or reading that a lot about Myers. What I would point to is that he has a similar drive, confidence and tenacious personality as Stroman and is likely to use that as ammunition to drive him as he goes along.

Myers is going to look to exceed that ceiling, and with the nasty movement, two plus pitches and plus control he has to start with, I wouldn’t put it past him to do just that.

Tobias Myers: Spotlight Videos

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 55 Rays Prospects

*Note: rankings were adjusted and reflect recent additions to the system - it is now a Top 55 list