Myers looks to build on strong 2016

With six-year extension done, All-Star embracing role as Padres' team leader

Myers looks to build on strong 2016

With Spring Training fast approaching, will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Padres squad each day this week. Today's topic: How's your star?

SAN DIEGO -- Once he put pen to paper on a six-year, $83 million contract extension in January, the first thing Wil Myers bought was the suit he wore to the ensuing news conference.

Soon, Myers will have to purchase a few more.

30 stars ready to shine bright in 2017

"I'm going to have to buy some rookies some suits now," Myers laughed.

Asked how that process works, Myers only shrugged, adding, "I don't know. It'll be my first time."

Indeed, it's been a quick transition for Myers in becoming the face of the franchise at the ripe age of 26. He entered last season a relatively unproven commodity, but has since developed into the brightest star on the San Diego sports landscape. The Padres made that much clear by locking Myers up only days after the Chargers announced they'd be relocating to Los Angeles.

After missing parts of the 2014 and '15 seasons because of wrist injuries, Myers set a career high with 676 plate appearances last year. He made them count. The slugging first baseman batted .259/.336/.461 with 28 homers and 28 steals, joining Mike Trout as the only players to reach the 28-28 threshold.

Myers, Padres sign extension

While Myers was piecing together an All-Star campaign, San Diego spent 2016 loading its farm system with prospects -- many of whom won't play alongside Myers for several years. That makes the structure of his contract -- six years with a team option for a seventh -- especially important.

"I know these types of plans take some time," Myers said. "But this six-year deal is right through the middle of my prime. Going through those last four years of the contract is going to be right when the Padres are getting really good. That's the key thing for me is being able to still be here when the Padres are competing every year."

In 2017, Myers will need to embrace his role as team leader. Gone are veterans James Shields, Tyson Ross, Matt Kemp and Andrew Cashner. Offensively, the Padres don't have a single player in his 30s.

"I'm excited about that opportunity," Myers said. "Maybe that's one thing that could be better for this team -- to have a young guy that's going to be a leader. I'm really kind of the same age as most of these guys anyway.

"This will be my fifth season coming up. I've had some experiences and will be able to shed some light to those guys on their situations. That might help us even more. I'm not going to come into Spring Training and set up a bunch of rules. I think these guys will learn on their own."

As for San Diego's long-term plan, Myers has fully bought in.

"There's not a lot of household names yet," a freshly dressed Myers said from the podium at his news conference. "But I do believe in and trust in this process we have going on here. I'm a big believer in it. I truly embrace the challenge of being a leader here and being able to bring this vision together."

Maybe by then, someone else will be buying the suits.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.