The answer is actually very simple; Passion. Baseball is D'Arby Myers' passion and when the Phillies drafted him in the fourth round last summer that was all Myers needed to know. "It's the sport I feel connected with. It brings me joy inside," is how Myers wrapped up his love of the game for the <i>LA Times</i> after being drafted. That love - and respect - for the game was evident in Myers when he arrived in Florida last summer after signing with the Phillies. When they drafted him, Myers was considered a risk because of the scholarship offer, but the Phillies had detected that connection that Myers has with the game and thought it would win out over the lure of USC.
D'Arby Myers stats
|'06 Gulf Coast||2||13||.313||31||128||20||40||7||1||11||7||32||.353|
Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft out of Westchester High School in Los Angeles.
Batting and Power: Myers was a standout baseball player at Westchester High School and opposing pitchers simply didn't want to pitch to him in his senior season. With that as the scenario, Myers played a smart game at the plate and didn't swing at bad pitches, resulting in three times as many walks as he had strikeouts. When he got to the Gulf Coast League, pitchers did pitch to him and Myers sometimes had trouble, swinging through a lot of pitches. The end result was 32 strikeouts in 31 games, something that Myers will have to work on. The good news is that he hit .313 and shows the mentality to cut down on the strikeouts and get on base with more regularity. As for power, Myers will likely have some power, but will never be a prolific homerun hitter.
Speed and Baserunning: It figures that Myers will eventually hit at or near the top of the lineup where he can put his speed to use. He was practically impossible to throw out when he attempted to steal in high school and was successful on 11 of his 15 stolen base attempts last season in the GCL. The Phillies wanted athletic players with a lot of tools and they definitely got the speed tool when they drafted and signed Myers.
Defense: It's not likely that Myers will ever win a Gold Glove. There is some work for him to do defensively, but being a smart, hard worker, it's likely that Myers will be up to the challenge and be able to handle the added work. He has a decent, but not overpowering arm.
Projection: A little extra time and effort spent on Myers now will pay big dividends down the road. The Phillies are going to work on the rough edges and give Myers time to adjust to being a pro ball player. Even though his debut in the Gulf Coast League was strong, he just turned 18 last December and has time to develop. He'll stay in extended camp this spring and head out to short-season ball - likely back at Clearwater - next summer. Keeping him in Clearwater will allow the Phillies to have some of their better coaches work with Myers to improve his skills and develop him into the type of prospect that they believe he will be down the road.