Olney On Heyward, Draft, Payroll Cuts

Top prospect Jason Heyward reminds ESPN.com's Buster Olney and Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman of the same player: Darryl Strawberry. Heyward's still in AA, but he's only 19 and he has an OPS over 1.200 so far in the upper minors. He's easily one of the top prospects in baseball, along with teammate Freddie Freeman. Braves GM Frank Wren notes that pitchers Julio Teheran, Craig Kimbrel and Jose Ortegano have all impressed this year as well. 

One AL executive pointed out that the Mets, who are the only team with one of the eight highest payrolls in baseball not currently in a playoff spot, are the only one of baseball's top-spending teams that closely follows the commissioner's recommendations on signing draft picks. Another official believes the teams with the worst systems are often the ones that don't spend over-slot.

Finally, Olney hears that many teams will attempt to slash payroll this offseason.


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