What To Do With a Crowded Outfield?

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Take that catcher's gear off, kid. You're heading to the outfield. Or keep it on. Whatever floats your boat out there in left.

It took me ages to find a copy of this card (Wil Myers’ first- a 2010 Bowman Chrome on-card auto) at a reasonable price. Of course, it’s all relative, and ultimately I probably overpaid. But right now, I’m glad it’s in my collection, even though the guy who shipped it broke the cardinal rule of toploader mailing and used shipping tape to seal the deal. Ugh.

As I mentioned in a recent post about Royals outfield prospect Clint Robinson, the Royals’ outfield is looking more and more crowded every day. They’re currently got a serviceable bunch in the majors in Melky, Frenchy, Gordon and Maier. Of that list, only Frenchy has any real chance of being lost to since he has a $4M mutual option on his 2010 contract. The others all have cheap deals going into their first arbitration years in 2012. One would presume they’ll all work out a deal- whether through arb or not. So, with at least 3 outfielders likely to return, what to do with a crop of young outfielders (including the converted catcher Myers above) that don’t have a place every day on the roster?

Wil Myers won’t be in the mix for next year. Still at AA with a subpar batting line of .249/.347/.368 at the time of this writing (and a similarly subpar FLD% of .971 in the outfield), Myers has a lot of work to do. And, as a 3rd round pick in the 2009 draft, he’ll be doing that work under a lot of scrutiny. I don’t know much about Myers other than what Baseball Reference tells me, so I’m not exactly sure why his RC autos sell for $20+, but I bet it has something to do with Baseball America’s #10 ranking pre-2011. That’s not #10 within the Royals organization, that’s #10 period. Of course, he hadn’t played a game in the outfield pre-2011 so I’m curious where he’ll end up in the pre-2012 rankings. Should be interesting to see where his cards go as well- maybe I’ll finally be able to afford a sweet blue refractor if expectations come down to earth. At only 20, Myers still has plenty of time to develop his game and I’d love to see him improve to the point where he can be a part of the sure-to-be-winners 2013 or 2014 Royals team!

UPDATE: The Royals resigned Frenchy for 2 years as of today. I loaded this post up before I left for Reno on Monday and was totally wrong about them letting him go. What a coincidence, though! Crowded indeed…

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