It's easy to think Wil Myers is in a slump. And certainly, he's struggled to hit the ball in the second half of the season thus far. But it'd be a mistake to say that Myers is having a down year or think any less of the overall talent just because of his numbers in AA.
The numbers up until this season have been almost overwhelming during Myers first two years in the minors. The Royals third round draft choice in the 2009 draft hit an astounding .369 through two stops during his inaugural season, slugging at an incredible .679 clip as well. In 2010, he continued his blistering pace at the plate while adjusting to the catcher position in the minors, hitting at a .315/.429/.506 overall line with 37 doubles and 14 homers in 126 games. That's the perfect gap power teams love to see from their 19-year-old hitters.
This season, Myers became the youngest player in the Texas League at age 20 and, at some level, the competition catches up to every player eventually. That's exactly what's happened to Myers to some degree this year as he's dropped down .253/.349/.370 line in AA ball. He's also been switched to the outfield to accommodate the Royals long-term plans which also include Salvador Perez behind the plate. In other words, he's playing higher than he should be at this point while learning the nuances of all three outfield spots, as the Royals have played him multiple games at left, center and right field.
The drop in productivity at the plate should be no surprise to anyone inside or outside of the organization. The jump to the Texas League is overwhelming for every prospect and Myers has held his own thus far. The best move for the Royals would be to give Myers regular reps until season's end so he can have the full season in AA and then bring him back at the same clip the very next season. The second time around the Texas League should be much kinder.
While the power has disappeared this year to a large degree, a slugger like Myers can put some power behind his swing once he's confident in it again. As he learns the adjustments to a new level of competition, Myers stock will skyrocket once again and prove his doubters wrong.