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Myers ready for second-half charge

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Wil Myers' second-half plummet in 2016 could provide the lesson needed for him to turn around his pedestrian start to this season.

A year after spending the All-Star break in his home ballpark, the Padres' first baseman instead spent this season's intermission at his actual home. Myers did not return to the Midsummer Classic this season, batting .255/.331/.466 while on a 200-strikeout pace. The numbers sit below the marks that landed him in last year's All-Star Game at Petco Park as a member of the National League's starting lineup.

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SAN DIEGO -- Wil Myers' second-half plummet in 2016 could provide the lesson needed for him to turn around his pedestrian start to this season.

A year after spending the All-Star break in his home ballpark, the Padres' first baseman instead spent this season's intermission at his actual home. Myers did not return to the Midsummer Classic this season, batting .255/.331/.466 while on a 200-strikeout pace. The numbers sit below the marks that landed him in last year's All-Star Game at Petco Park as a member of the National League's starting lineup.

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He slashed .286/.351/.522 in the first half a year ago. But in the second half, Myers was far from All-Star caliber, hitting .223 and slugging below .400. With 2016 being his first full campaign in the Majors, Myers was unprepared for the laboring required to make it through the season.

"Last year, I got to the All-Star break and felt like the season was kind of over, but then you realize that you've got three months still to play," Myers said. "The All-Star break is not a finish line, by any means. It's one of those things that you continue to push and you've got to continue to get better because you've still got three months left to play."

Before attacking the coming months, Myers needed the mental recess the All-Star break provides. He has struggled since the start of June, hitting .234.

"For the last five, six weeks, I've been banging my head every night trying to figure out what's going on," Myers said. "It's tough. It doesn't matter who you are or what's going on. When you struggle, it's tough."

Manager Andy Green said Myers' difficulties are the result of the pressures he has put on himself. Myers, 26, signed a six-year, $83 million extension with San Diego this past offseason, marking him as the face of the franchise as it build toward competitiveness.

Green recently moved Myers to the leadoff spot in an effort to jump-start him, but with Hunter Renfroe landing on the disabled list Friday, the Padres can't afford to have Myers' bat out of the middle of the order, nor can they afford for it to struggle there.

"I think it comes from the desire to want to do too much," Green said. "Sometimes, you have to let the game come to you. ... For him, I think it's slowing the game down and recognizing pitchers still have to come in the strike zone in order to get him out.

"I do think they've taken advantage of his aggression and anxiousness at times."

Myers admitted he has been overaggressive at times this season. He declined to pin his struggles on mechanical issues, saying his mental approach is the root.

Adding he knows he's capable of escaping this slump, Myers has no intent of holding onto the first half.

"It's over," Myers said. "You can't do anything to change it anymore. You just go get your rest during the break and you get recharged and ready to go for the second half.

"... You just want to go out there and finish strong."

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers