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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Myers taking the high road to reward

By ESPN Stats & Information

It was not long ago that Wil Myers had a 10-day stretch in which he went 2-for-31 with 14 strikeouts and the Rays went 2-7 in nine games.

But when Myers is going well, so too go the Tampa Bay Rays, and Monday night showed that again with Myers homering in his second straight game, a win that moved Tampa Bay ahead of the Texas Rangers for the lead spot in the American League wild-card race.

Myers mashing again
Myers is hitting .391 with four homers, six doubles and 10 RBIs in his past 13 games.

A month ago, when Myers was in the midst of a hot streak, one of the areas in which he was performing best was against pitches in the upper half of the strike zone. Myers homered and doubled against pitches to that area Monday, the former against former Ray Matt Garza, the latter a two-run hit against Rangers reliever Jason Frasor.

The higher the pitch, the better, in Myers’ case. He is 23-for-51 in at-bats that end with a pitch at the top of the strike zone (by exact definition: the upper third) or higher.

Myers hits, Rays win
The Rays are 5-15 this season in games in which Myers starts and is held hitless.

In those games, they average 2.4 runs.

When Myers starts and gets at least one hit, the Rays are 36-17.

The Rays are averaging 4.4 runs in those games.

An award in his future?
The AL rookie of the year race is very much up for grabs, and the way Myers is hitting, he’s very much in contention to win it.

Myers now leads all AL rookies with 13 home runs and has by far the best OPS among those rookies with at least 250 plate appearances, .857.

If Myers were to win it, he’d be the first AL rookie of the year who was a position player to play in fewer than 100 games. Ryan Howard (2005 Phillies) is the last to do so in the National League.