SAN DIEGO -- On the surface, William Myers' 2017 numbers are not far from those he posted in his All-Star season a year ago.His on-base percentage is down a tick from .336 to .331. He's had a slight increase in slugging percentage, up to .479 from .461. But those aren't
SAN DIEGO -- On the surface, William Myers' 2017 numbers are not far from those he posted in his All-Star season a year ago.
His on-base percentage is down a tick from .336 to .331. He's had a slight increase in slugging percentage, up to .479 from .461. But those aren't the numbers that made the Padres' first baseman an All-Star in his home ballpark.
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Myers slashed .286/.351/.522 in the first half of 2016, adding 19 home runs, 15 steals and 60 RBIs to earn his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic. In the second half, though, he plummeted, hitting .223/.316/.381 to drop his overall numbers as he finished two homers and two steals shy of a 30-30 season.
"In my mind with Wil, he's fighting, he's fighting hard," Padres manager Andy Green said. "But there's a groove that he hasn't gotten back into right now."
Sunday, Myers boosted his case toward a return to early 2016 form. On Sunday, he unloaded on a first-pitch slider from Detroit's Jordan Zimmermann, sending it into Petco Park's Estrella Jalisco Landing in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers. The ball went a projected 419 feet, the seventh of his 15 home runs to travel at least that distance, per Statcast™.
"It was one of those ones that felt good," Myers said. "Haven't put a lot of barrels on balls lately, so it was good to start the day off like that."
Myers walked to begin the fourth and, with runners on second and third and two outs, got out to a 2-0 advantage against Zimmermann in his third plate appearance. But the at-bat ended in a groundout, one of seven outs the Padres made in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position Sunday.
Green said Myers might have been too patient in the at-bat.
"I think Wil has to be ready for that mistake," Green said. "I think he was taken to the mindset of, 'He's not going to give me anything.' There's the knowledge that you're going to get pitched around, but there's also the focus on the mistake pitch that you could still get and you've got to do damage on if you get it.
"I think he's getting a situational awareness that's going to be really good for him in the long run, but to still maintain some sort of controlled aggression in those moments is pivotal for him to be an impact bat in the middle of the order consistently."
Myers' walk was his 14th of June, matching his total from May after he walked only twice in April. His .372 on-base percentage this month is his highest of any month this season. Even in April, when Myers hit .310 with seven home runs in what seemed to be a return to All-Star-caliber performance, he got on base only 32.5 percent of the time.
Myers struck out in his final at-bat, finishing the day with a .259 average -- the same mark he ended 2016 with.
"I felt like I had a good approach all day," Myers said. "Would have liked to have come through there with second and third two outs, but I know I'll figure it out at some point and get going again."
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.