PEORIA, Ariz. -- For three weeks in the middle of the 2010 season, William Myers got a brief glimpse into his future. Then a catcher in the Royals' organization, Myers had recently been promoted to Class A Advanced Wilmington. There, he shared the middle of the batting order with a
PEORIA, Ariz. -- For three weeks in the middle of the 2010 season, William Myers got a brief glimpse into his future. Then a catcher in the Royals' organization, Myers had recently been promoted to Class A Advanced Wilmington. There, he shared the middle of the batting order with a fellow top prospect by the name of Eric Hosmer.
At the time, Myers figured he'd one day anchor a lineup with Hosmer in the Majors. The two even posed for a photo shoot that was meant to depict the future of the Royals' offense.
"I definitely envisioned this back then," Myers said. "But I couldn't have envisioned it with San Diego."
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Sure enough, they both made their way to the Padres, Myers via trade and Hosmer with an eight-year, $144 million deal that was finalized Monday. The duo first met during instructional ball in 2009. In the Royals' system, their paths only crossed briefly during the 2010 season in Wilmington, before Myers was shipped to Tampa Bay.
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Both Hosmer and Myers were in San Diego for the 2016 All-Star Game, though Myers hasn't managed to regain his All-Star form since. He also hasn't had much protection since the departure of Matt Kemp around the same time.
And while Myers doesn't necessarily buy into lineup protection in the traditional sense, he's quick to note that Hosmer's arrival eases the burden on the rest of the offense.
"Any time you add good hitters around you, it's going to make you better, no matter who you are," Myers said. "Whether you're hitting eighth or third or second, having Hosmer is going to help."
Padres manager Andy Green took the same stance.
"Having a guy that's used to hitting in the middle of the order relaxes everybody else," Green said. "We're excited about putting him in there, and were excited about watching everybody else reap the dividend of having him in the lineup."
On Wednesday, Hosmer took batting practice on two of Peoria's backfields. (He shared the cage with Chase Headley and Freddy Galvis, forming a trio of starting infielders who enter camp as veteran newcomers on a young Padres roster.)
Myers, meanwhile, is no longer part of that infield group. He has since moved from first base to the outfield to accommodate Hosmer's arrival. In a way, that position switch is symbolic.
Last year, Myers signed a then-franchise-record $83 million contract, keeping him on board through at least 2022. When Hosmer put pen to paper, he displaced Myers -- both at first base and as the recipient of the largest deal ever for a Padre. (With an opt-out structured into Hosmer's contract, he, too, is in San Diego through at least '22.)
Green has yet to ponder how he'll stack Myers and Hosmer in the batting order. Presumably, they'll form a lefty-righty combo somewhere in the middle.
In theory, Myers' speed makes him a candidate for the No. 2 spot, ahead of Hosmer at No. 3. Then again, the Padres already have a few speed threats for the top of the order, and Myers would probably need to boost his on-base percentage to justify hitting second. Perhaps Hosmer could hit third and Myers fourth -- as they did for that brief stint in Wilmington eight years ago.
In any case, Hosmer and Myers appear destined to anchor the Padres' lineup for the foreseeable future.
"To have another guy who's here for the long haul is exciting," Myers said. "The more we grow together and learn together, I think the better we'll become."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.