Rays’ Myers shines in all facets on diamond

Jul. 20, 2013 @ 05:16 PM

Wil Myers continues to more than hold his own as a Major League rookie.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden says there is more to Myers than his bat.
And the former Wesleyan Christian Academy star continues to deliver plenty of punch at the plate.
On Friday, he enjoyed his best offensive night since being called up from triple-A Durham, going 3 for 5 with a home run and lifting his average to .303, the best among the Rays regulars, going into Saturday’s game against Toronto.
But earlier Friday, Maddon raved about other parts of Myers’ game while fielding questions on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.
“He’s a complete baseball player,” Maddon said. “When we did the deal for him over the winter (the Rays got Myers from Kansas City), obviously I was in the room and all I kept hearing was about his offensive potential or abilities but I didn’t hear much about his defense and base running.
“His base running has been outstanding. There is a naiveté about him that I absolutely love. He truly believes that he belongs in the Major Leagues. He vibrates at the right level, meaning he is not overwhelmed.
“The most important thing moving forward to know is he can hit the ball really, really hard. He can really impact the ball. But beyond that, watch him on the bases, watch his defense, watch him throw the baseball. He can do all these things. He can have an impact and help us win in other areas than just hitting the baseball.”

SOLID SHOWING
And while we are talking about the majors, a check of the Cleveland Indians’ stats shows that former High Point University pitcher Cody Allen is having a solid season.
Allen, who is a reliever, is 4-1with a 2.21 Earned Run Average. In 41 appearances, he has struck out 54, walked just 13 and allowed 13 runs (10 earned) in 40 2/3 innings.

TIME TO VOTE
Among the activities on tap today and tomorrow at the ACC Football Kickoff will be media voting to determine the preseason favorite to win the league championship plus the preseason player of the year and all-conference team.
My prediction for the team that will be selected as preseason favorite to win the league’s championship game: Clemson, which quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins from the team from that tied Florida State for the Atlantic Division title.
Who will be favored in the Coastal: I’ll say the media will predict that Virginia Tech bounces back from a disappointing fourth place finish last year as Georgia Tech, Miami and North Carolina tied for first place.
And who might preseason choice for player of the year: I’m going to say Boyd, who led the league in passing and total offense last season.

OFF WEEKEND
With no race today, NASCAR’s top division is enjoying its final off weekend of the season.
Best driver so far this year: That would be a virtual tie between Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, both with four victories.
Johnson has been more of the past six years. Kenseth was expected to be competitive as he moved from Jack Roush to Joe Gibbs but he was something as a surprise, running up front and qualifying better than he ever did with Roush.
The tour returns to action with its 20th trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which drew sellout crowds for the first 10 years or so but has seen a steady increase of empty seats over the past five years. It will be interesting to see if the place is half-full next Sunday.
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