It’s been an entirely disappointing year in Kansas City thus far, but there’s still talent in the system worth getting excited about. For instance, Wil Myers, who just homered in a second straight game for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Sunday and is up to nine homers for the year.
Myers is hitting .336/.390/.692 overall. The big negative is that the line comes with 34 strikeouts in 107 at-bats. He’s repeating Double-A, but he’s doing so at the tender age of 21. He already has one more homer this year than he did in 354 at-bats last season.
Myers began his pro career as a catcher, but the Royals moved him to the outfield prior to the 2011 season. He’s playing center field and right field in equal amounts for now, but he projects as a right fielder in the majors. If he keeps this up, he’s going to make Jeff Francoeur expendable next year. However, in order for him to maintain the production, he likely will need to cut down on the K’s a bit.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: