Myles Has the Tools and Maturity to Succeed in Akron
Danny Madden | On 06, May 2014
Being a threat offensively can come in many varieties.
Whether it’s hitting for contact, being a threat on the base paths, or hitting a ball as far as it can go. When a player can produce one of these tools, then that really makes them an offensive threat. There are players though that can cover all these tools and do so effectively. Bryson Myles is one of those players.
At the age of 21, Myles was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the sixth round of the 2011 First Year Player Draft. Before being drafted, Myles elected to go to college at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He decided to go to college and play baseball before entering the Major League draft. From there he was drafted and began his minor league career with Short Season-A Mahoning Valley. In 50 games there he had a slash line of .302/.394/.795 with 20 stolen bases, 1 home run, and 10 doubles.
Between 2012 and 2013, Myles spent some time in Low-A Lake County and High-A Carolina. Between those two teams, Myles averaged a line of .287/.356/.759 and had a total of 35 stolen bases, 11 home runs, while accumulating 40 doubles. At the age of 24, Myles has now entered his first year in Double-A Akron. “I’m just excited about this new opportunity here in Akron. Take what I learned last year and make it even better,” says Myles.
Myles has been fortunate enough to be a part of the group of talented young players that seem to be moving up through the Indians farm system together. This group includes players like Francisco Lindor, Tony Wolters, Joseph Wendle and Tyler Naquin. After struggling towards the beginning of the season in the Carolina league, Myles has been able to build off what he has learned from there and bring it to Akron.
“The Carolina league taught me so much about playing baseball and so much about myself as well,” explains Myles.
Prior to coming up to Akron, Myles has always been an outfielder, but he’s never really been designated to one spot specifically. Being able to play all three outfield positions is an obvious bonus that he can carry with him through his career.
“I’m pretty comfortable everywhere. I talked to Wallie, he said I’ll probably play all three spots,” says Myles on his flexibility. “I’m sure I’ll play one more than the others, but I’m not sure which one for sure, but wherever he puts me I’ll be happy.”
As of right now, Myles has been spending most of his time in left field.
This will be Myles’ fourth year playing professional baseball. With having this experience brings a sense of maturity to the game, especially after spending time playing in college as well. Myles credits a lot of his growth as a player from how he, and his team, played in Carolina in 2013.
“Yes we were very, very talented, but we were a little immature last year,” Myles said. “I know this year, at least for myself, I know the mentality to take into the first game of the season. I think that if everyone else can do that as well, we’ll start hot and stay hot for the remainder of the season.”
Currently, Myles is hitting .317/.380/.856 in Akron with four stolen bases and one home run so far on the young season along with four doubles. Last season in Carolina, Myles came into some real power when he hit eight home runs. This could be a result of Myles having a better eye of where the ball is in the strike zone.
“I really just started focusing on letting the ball get a little bit deeper. Being ok with hitting the ball to right field,” Myles said. By changing his approach at the plate, not trying to hit a home run with every at bat, Myles was able to hit the ball better and get a better understanding of where the strikezone is.
“My entire life it was always pull the ball, pull the ball, pull the ball, and try to hit home runs,” Myles said. “The game of baseball really isn’t that. Especially at this level. You have to be able to hit the ball to all fields, be able to hit all pitches.”
RubberDucks manager Dave Wallace has taken notice of how Myles has improved. “He’s also making a couple adjustments, he’s trying to stay in the zone a little bit more,” Wallace said.
While he has also noted that he still has room to develop offensively. “Righties he’s struggled a little bit more than lefties. Recognizing spin, especially with the slider, and staying back on it and driving it up the middle. He gets a little pull happy at times.”
This has been a big part of Myles game, and it seems that he has been able to improve on that quality in his short amount of time spent in Akron.
“If he can stay up the middle and at least approach that right-centerfield gap, he can be a dangerous bat,” Wallace explains.
Wallace has moved up the system with Myles and has really made a special connection with him. He credits a big part of his growth as a player to Wallace.
“Obviously I hear that you want to work with different managers and everyone is different, but he’s been great,” Myles said. “I’ve had him since the first day that I got drafted and went to play in Mahoning. He’s been my manager in every game that I’ve played professionally. He’s been a big part of my development as a player. He’s going to continue to be that big part in my career.”
When Myles gets on base, he is certainly a force to be reckoned with. “I still love to steal bags, still love to bring that part of the game to the game. If Wally gives me the green light then I’ll be good to go.”
With a total of 59 stolen bases in his career, Myles has the potential to be a dominant base stealer.
After a hot start, Myles will hopefully continue with his offensive prowess. He needs to take what he has learned from his past and use it to continue develop as a player. Having speed, power, and consistent contact is good skill set to have as a hitter. Myles has the tools to really make an impact with the Indians in the foreseeable future.
After a win against the Altoona Curve with a score of 5-4, Akron, the RubberDucks now have a record of 18-11 on the year. They begin a three game series with the Erie Seawolves on Monday May 5. The RubberDucks will then return home on Thursday May 8 for a four game series against Altoona.
Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer