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Implications of Moving Wil Myers From Catcher to Another Position

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I have been wanting to write this article for a while, but was generally missing some general information. I finally got around to getting the information and published a Fangraphs article on implications of moving a good hitting catchers to another position.

Some people believe there is some chance that Wil Myers will not stick at catcher and need to move to the field. The major options would be for him to be is 1B, DH, or a corner outfielder. The Royal's systems is currently stack at the 1B/DH position for a few years. Billy and Kila currently hold those positions on the major league club and Eric Hosmer will soon to join the mix in about a year.

The Royals farm system is lacking in having 2 great hitting corner outfielders or a catcher besides Myers. This situation means the Royal's best option is for him to move to the outfield if he doesn't stay at catcher. If he hits the same at each position, his yearly WAR value will be 1.66 less just based on positional adjustment. For example, if he hits at 4 WAR, he would generate 4.38 WAR as a catcher (5/6 playing time) and only 3.25 WAR as a corner outfielder. Hitting at this same level would only make him worth 2.75 WAR as a 1B.

There should be little concern with Wil being an average outfielder if forced move positions. From my article at Fangraphs, I found that catchers that played outfield positions, generally played average defensively with most of the player's value coming from the ARM component of UZR.

In my opinion, I think everything should be done to keep Wil at catcher. With a lack of great hitting outfielders in the minor leagues, a move to a corner outfield position would not be the end of the world.