Much has been made of Wil Myers and his apparent lack of hustle during certain plays this season: not legging out doubles, lackadaisical defense, and poor performance at the plate have been tossed around Twitter. Many fans are coming to the conclusion that Wil Myers “is who he is”, a .270 hitter good for a 110 OPS+. What hasn’t been discussed until this article is the mental toll baseball takes on a player.
It’s an unfortunate circumstance of our times that mental health is still generally taboo to discuss openly. I imagine it must be even more difficult to discuss in the hyper-competitive baseball world. Wil describes his travails in detail throughout the article, describing multiple processes in the batting cage and allowing his hitting performances affect his whole game.
Wil Myers said he'll get a sport psychologist this offseason: "If I would’ve had a better mental state, I would’ve played better this year." pic.twitter.com/gYcM5PdNRi— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) September 25, 2017
While Myers doesn’t admit to the pressure a new contract and being dubbed the “face of the franchise” affecting his game, one can imagine the outside pressures to succeed from the fanbase and from Myers’ own team can be quite difficult to manage.
Myers says he’ll visit a sports psychologist this offseason to help him equip better mental tools for the long baseball season. It’s incredibly easy to overlook the mental health aspect of baseball when players rely so much on their physical health and skills to play the game. Here’s hoping Wil is able to acquire the tools and help he needs to succeed.