Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/24/13
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Wil Myers jogged with an expressionless stare in the second inning, as if 422-foot home runs are supposed to happen often. He glanced twice toward center field after he rounded first base. He never broke his stride. The Tampa Bay Rays envisioned moments like this when they promoted the outfield prospect June 16, these did-he-just-do-that displays that serve as proof that perhaps the hype around this uncommon 22-year-old is deserved. Among most, it was thought Myers would appear at Tropicana Field sometime this season, his promotion a formality after he became the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade with the Kansas City Royals last December that made Tampa Bay part ways with valued right-hander James Shields. Yet Myers call-up came with some caution. Some wondered if it happened too early, after just 64 games with Triple-A Durham. Some wondered if more seasoning might be appropriate, particularly with his defensive skills in right field. Some wondered if a pre-All-Star Break arrival could be premature to start the Wil Watch within a franchise searching to keep pace in the American League East. Eight games into this experiment, the endpoint of Myers first Rays summer remains unknown. But certainly, the opening steps have included delicious potential. On Monday, that trend continued when he went 2 for 4 in the Rays 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, highlighted by a monster home run, the second of his season. Its the same game Ive been playing all my life, Myers said. Its not really any different. The only big differences are the stuff off the field, to be honest, and a little more fans in the stands. I just want to treat it like the game Ive played all my life. Myers reaction to the home run is worth revisiting because he does treat it like something he has done his whole life. Nineteen seconds passed from the time a 95-mph fastball from right-hander Esmil Rogers hit Myers bat to when the young slugger crossed home plate. His trot is remarkable because it is so unremarkable. Myers slapped hands with third base coach Tom Foley and teammates Sam Fuld and Jose Lobaton near the batters box. But little else stood out. Like in other moments last week in Boston and New York, Myers carried himself with confidence. Like he belonged. Of course, a larger celebration came in time. Luke Scott was the first to greet Myers at the top of the dugout. David Price was next. Then others such as Joe Maddon, Evan Longoria, Dave Martinez, Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Yunel Escobar followed. They offered high-fives, slaps, a stew of atta-man greetings. In time, parts of the announced crowd of 11,407 stood. They held signs such as I heart WIL and WilVille and Hit it HERE Wil! About 30 seconds after he entered the dugout I really wasnt sure what to do, Myers said he stepped out and waved with his left hand. He smiled for his first major league curtain call. His brown hair looked matted. He looked young, boyish. But at that moment, he also looked much older. He looked like someone who fit in. I do believe he has the makeup to withstand any kind of tough moment that may occur in the future, Maddon said. He has done everything proper and well to this point. Hes fun to watch, Rays first baseman James Loney said. Hes young, but he plays with a maturity. We all got to see him play in spring training, Rays outfielder Sam Fuld said, so we know what hes capable of. And more will be learned. Mondays moment was another first after a week of many, and it continued Myers visible baptism-by-fire. His first time wearing No. 9 in a Rays uniform. His first visit to Fenway Park. His first visit to Yankee Stadium. His first grand slam. His first home run at Tropicana Field in his first at-bat here. He has hit .294 (8 for 34) with two home runs and seven RBI. He has hit safely in seven of his eight games, including two multiple-hit contests. There is no telling where Myers story will lead. He is still a project, still developing. It is tempting to compare him to another Rays star who made his major-league debut at age 22 (Longoria in 2008), but there is no knowing if Myers will become a three-time All-Star in five seasons, if he will become a franchise face like he has the potential to be. But there is something about watching unrefined potential that piques the imagination. The bursts come in jolts, like lightning strikes in a storm gathering strength. That is what watching Myers feels like now. His power is sure to grow stronger, his eye at the plate sure to become more trained, his skill-set sure to become more rounded. I didnt really put expectations on myself, Myers said. Getting here, Joe told me just to go out and have fun. Really what I want to do here is just help the team win, because obviously, thats the most important thing. He acts the part of a big leaguer with large possibility. The best part: He plays it too. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pat Riley: LeBron James’ departure from Miami ‘was personal’

Marcus Smart fires back at Jimmy Butler over ‘not about that life’ talk

Tony Gonzalez: Tony Romo did not cost me CBS job

Martavis Bryant conditionally reinstated by the NFL

USGA tries to simplify rules by ending viewer call-ins, somehow makes it more complicated

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL GM: Peterson could push Saints ‘into the playoffs and beyond’

Report: Derek Jeter/Jeb Bush-led group wins auction for Miami Marlins

Jets GM: ‘No problem’ avoiding domestic violence offenders in draft

Texans will have a draft pick announced from outer space

Kobe Bryant on if he misses basketball: ‘No, I don’t’

Jay Cutler's agent: QB has no plans to retire

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/25: 'So long, sleeves'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

20 of the best NFL Draft red carpet looks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker