By: Justin Lafferty
Ever since first baseman Eric Hosmer officially signed with the Padres on March 19, there has been plenty of talk about the leadership dynamic between Hosmer and the Padres’ other big-ticket player, Wil Myers.
In an interview with The Mighty 1090 AM’s Darren Smith, Myers said that Hosmer is the perfect leader for this clubhouse.
“He came right in and had respect from everyone here,” Myers said of Hosmer. “For the young guys to have a guy here who has won a World Series, been to the playoffs, been through a rebuild, been through everything in baseball… him being here is going to help.”
Myers also addressed comments made a couple weeks ago by owner Ron Fowler. who said that the 2016 All-Star might’ve been under too much pressure to be a clubhouse leader after signing a 6-year, $83 million contract extension.
Myers agreed with Fowler’s assessment, acknowledging that he’s not the rah-rah type of guy.
“I don’t feel like I’m the guy that can go in the clubhouse and talk to everybody and be that guy, but since Eric Hosmer has been here, he has been that guy,” Myers said. “What Ron said, I do agree with. I think it’s something that it wasn’t really part of my DNA to all of a sudden go out and be a leader, talk to guys, that wasn’t really me. I don’t think that’s ever been me as a person. Last year, I tried to take on that role and it was one of those things where I wasn’t really equipped for that role.”
With Hosmer in place as the true leader of the clubhouse, Myers said that the mood around Peoria Sports Complex is a pretty confident one. The moves that Fowler and General Manager A.J. Preller made this offseason, namely signing Hosmer and trading for Freddy Galvis, show the team’s commitment to winning.
“We’ve got new guys here — Hosmer, Galvis — I think you add those two guys to a team, obviously you’re gonna make them better,” Myers said. “There’s a lot of optimism in the clubhouse right now. I think that’s what everyone is excited about. When the Padres go out and make a big signing like they did, it gives the organization and the team a lot of confidence.”
While fans have plenty to be excited about with regard to the Padres’ №1 rated farm system, Myers said that he and some of the more veteran players are happy about the youth movement, too.
Myers and Hosmer played together for a few weeks in 2010 on Kansas City’s Class A-Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks team. Both were part of a wave of promising Royals prospects, though Myers was traded to the Rays before making it to The Show. Myers sees a lot of similarities between the Royals a few years ago and the Padres now.
“Both of us sitting back, looking at what the Padres have done, having the number one farm system, it’s kind of right in line with where Kansas City was a few years back,” Myers said. “That’s a pretty cool deal for us to be sitting here, seeing that going on, and having that be the future of the Padres.”
The offseason has been one of continual improvement for Myers. In addition to adding roughly 10 pounds of muscle, he sought the help of a sports psychologist to help him get to that next level mentally. The addition of Hosmer to the clubhouse will take some of that pressure off of Myers, who will return to the outfield this season.
Listen to the full interview here.