Will Jason Heyward Make The Braves’ Opening Day Roster?

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution makes a prediction: "Jason Heyward is going to be the Braves' right fielder on opening day."  Heyward, the top prospect in baseball, is impressing observers in every way possible this spring.  Still, he is only 20 years old and has just 50 games experience above A ball.

Projection systems, looking only at Heyward's minor league stats and not the scouting reports, call for something around a .330 OBP and .425 SLG from Heyward in the Majors in 2010 (CHONE, ZiPS).  A computer would give Heyward more minor league seasoning, under the theory that he's a lateral move from Matt Diaz, Melky Cabrera, and Eric Hinske.  Keeping Heyward in the minors for even two weeks would buy the Braves another year of control, similar to what the Rays did with Evan Longoria in 2008.  If the Braves really wanted to save money, they could hold Heyward in the minors until mid-May to avoid Super Two status.

The Braves may feel, however, that Heyward is likely to exceed automated projections.  They may consider intangibles such as the potential fan reaction to sending Heyward down.  They may simply decide that winning is the only priority, and a full season of Heyward gives them the best chance to win.  O'Brien has heard nothing about service time manipulation from Braves officials, "publicly or privately."

O'Brien brings up an interesting point: maybe the Braves already have designs to "make a multi-year contract offer well before [Heyward] hits arbitration," reducing the importance of Heyward's service time.  Longoria certainly didn't take offense to the Rays' approach; he inked his team-friendly extension less than a week after his big league debut.


97 Responses to Will Jason Heyward Make The Braves’ Opening Day Roster? Leave a Reply

  1. cestilp 5 years ago

    I think this is a rare exception where you sacrifice team control for results. The Braves have the pitching and desperately need the power, and Heyward provides significantly more pop than Diaz or Cabrera. Everything I’ve read about his makeup is that he’ll be just fine when he eventually gets to the majors (i.e. not the Jordan Schafer debacle of last year, which was attributed to not disclosing an injury).

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Jason Heyward is simply the greatest thing since sliced bread. He will no doubt about it be in Right Field at 1:05 P.M. on Opening Day.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Jason Heyward is simply the greatest thing since sliced bread. He will no doubt about it be in Right Field at 1:05 P.M. on Opening Day.

  2. $1574266 5 years ago

    God I hate projection systems. They are the dumbest thing in the world. How in the hell can a computer predict anything that happens in real life?

    • cestilp 5 years ago

      Baseball projection is done the way all predictions are made – through history. Similar players with similar skills or ages play out in all different ways, and provide reasonable comparable situations and outcomes for the player in question.

    • dwarfcatt 5 years ago

      weather forecasts must infuriate you

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        How often are weather forecasts ever right?

        • TommyBrookensIsMyTiger 5 years ago

          Seriously – statistics are INdicative, NOT PREdictive. You can tell all you want about what someone has done, but you can only hope it predicts what they will actually do. Injuries, slumps, contract issues and relationships all play into things WAY more than the sabermetricians will ever admit. Statistics are awesome, but human beings play the games, not simulated avatars.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            Sun gonna rise tomorrow?

          • Redhawk 5 years ago

            And if a baseball player’s performance was every as consistent as the Sun Rising….I’d buy into the projections much, much more than I do now.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            All knowledge is probabilistic. Doesn’t seem difficult to reconcile the fact that projectors only make the best they can of necessarily incomplete information … just like anyone else in any other circumstance – ever.

            If prior performance (as measured by statistics) were as unreliable an indicator of future performance as you seem to think, it’d have been all but abandoned by baseball’s decision-makers by now. Instead what you see is ever-increasing refinement — because it works.

          • Redhawk 5 years ago

            And if a baseball player’s performance was every as consistent as the Sun Rising….I’d buy into the projections much, much more than I do now.

    • Drew 5 years ago

      Probably the funniest comment I’ve ever read on a baseball fansite…

    • kswissreject 5 years ago

      Aric, I know that’s you.

  3. $1526717 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see them agree on a Longoria type deal very soon. Heyward is about a sure bet as you’re going to get. It will be a treat to watch this kid play. He’s got all the tools – power, contact, speed, defense, arm, and a great eye. And by all accounts, he sounds like a great kid who is well-liked and still down to earth. Braves have quite a player there.

  4. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    Diaz McLouth and Heyward looks pretty good with Melky coming off the bench. I think if this is the lineup they open with then that is what Atlanta was hoping for all along

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    Heyward will have a way higher on-base than that…

    • goldenglove002 5 years ago

      I’ll second that. He seems to have amazing plate discipline.

    • goldenglove002 5 years ago

      I’ll second that. He seems to have amazing plate discipline.

  6. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    They’ll probably do what any team would do in this situation… keep him in the minors just long enough to delay arbitration.

  7. ivdown 5 years ago

    I just saw today that Albert Pujols, at 20 years old, played almost a full season in A ball, 2 weeks in A+ ball, and then a week in AAA his first pro season. He then played 161 games in the MLB the next season.

    I was almost shocked by how little time he got in the minors, especially at such a low level, so he must have really killed in ST. The same could happen for Heyward, and if he really is that great it may not hurt him.

    • $1526717 5 years ago

      I could be misremembering here, but I thought it was an injury to a crappy vet like Bobby Bonilla or someone like that that opened up a spot for Pujols.

      • ivdown 5 years ago

        Hmmm, I never knew about anything like that, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

        • drumzalicious 5 years ago

          either way the point still remains that if a player has it they will succeed and they will show you when they are ready. They way Heyward is playing he is almost forcing their hand

      • ivdown 5 years ago

        Hmmm, I never knew about anything like that, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

      • cavebird 5 years ago

        Bonilla was in camp and got hurt, but he was already pretty much finished by then. Pujols had an impressive spring, the Cards had a hole at third, and when the stopgap attempt failed (and seriously, Bonilla couldn’t play third when he was young, he never could have done it then), the rest was history.

  8. wendy2584 5 years ago

    I don’t understand how you can break camp and Not have this guy going north. He is the best option for right field and in the end, with all politics aside, one should field the best team possible. Thus I believe Jason Heyward will indeed be in Right field at Turner Field come Opening Day 2010.

  9. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Risk v. reward. If he’s going to be a great hitter right now, he’ll be one wherever he’s placed. Sending him to the minors will not hurt him. But it will give him more experience and give the team more control.

    If he’s not going to be a great hitter yet, it’s a waste of time, money, and potential to bring him up.

    The Braves can afford to let him work on his game for a couple of months in the minors.

  10. optionn 5 years ago

    Its way way too early to tell if this guy is any good. Yeah, he looks the part like Ryan Howard. But nobody knows if he will produce. All these young players are just an excuse by owners to avoid paying veterans.

    • Hardly an excuse when you have a youngster this talented. Why pay some overpriced crappy vet, when you can go with your homegrown talent?

  11. The braves will probably send him to the minors…smart move if they do…

    • jadarm 5 years ago

      I truly understand the logic in doing something like that both strategically and financially. But I have also been a Braves fan forever….the people that are following them are going to be quite pi$$’d if he has a good spring and doesn’t break camp with the club.

      He is one of the amazing stories of MLB right now, they had his HR on ESPN yesterday. Why would the Braves send him to AAA and let the story cool off? Not only would it be bad strategically and financially but it would be one of the biggest PR mistakes in Braves history.

      • this coming from a franchise that cant even sell out playoff games?

        i think braves ownership is thinking long term…and thats a smart move

  12. alxn 5 years ago

    I’ve already given up on the Braves waiting until late May (which IMO is the best decision). That being said, there is absolutely no excuse for breaking camp with him. Under no circumstances is 2-3 weeks of his rookie season worth more than an entire year in his prime. Heyward is smart enough to understand this. If he wants to play now then he will agree to a team friendly contract that makes this debate moot. It seems like Bobby Cox is constantly campaigning to start the year with Heyward the way he keeps batting him early in the line-up. However, Wren has proven before that he really does not care about what Bobb Cox wants.

    On a side note, I don’t think those projections are very accurate, particularly the OBP. Heyward might be the most patient hitter in the entire Braves organization.

  13. HTF 5 years ago

    Cox has just basically came out and said that he will be on the team: “ajcbraves Cox about tonight being opening-day lineup: “Pretty close. I don’t know if Heyward will be hitting seventh, if he keeps going like this.””

  14. If Bobby Cox is not confident enough to bat Jason Heyward in the heart of the lineup then he needs to be sent to Gwinnett, plain and simple. There needs to be no other option.

    If you truly believe that you have a superstar, one whose name has been mentioned in the same sentence as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Dave Winfield, Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, etc. then you don’t bring the guy up and bat him 7th or 8th.

    You bring him up and treat him as he is, a superstar. If he’s not ready to be treated that way or the front office/manager doesn’t believe he is, then you leave him down.

    If you’re interested in seeing how humble Jason Heyward is, follow him on Twitter. Or at least go spend a few minutes on his page.

    link to twitter.com

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Umm.. I’m not sure if you consider 6th or 7th the heart of the line up or not, but that’s where pujols batted in 01.

      • That’s good info on Pujols. I don’t consider 3-4-5-6 the heart and the lineup is solid throughout. Whenever Heyward is brought up it will be a tossup between him and Escobar for the 6th and 7th spots. Jones, Glaus, Mccann is a solid 3-4-5.

      • That’s good info on Pujols. I don’t consider 3-4-5-6 the heart and the lineup is solid throughout. Whenever Heyward is brought up it will be a tossup between him and Escobar for the 6th and 7th spots. Jones, Glaus, Mccann is a solid 3-4-5.

      • That’s good info on Pujols.

        I consider 3-4-5 the real heart and that’s not going to change. (Jones-Glaus-Mccann)

        It looks like 6-7 will be between Escobar and Heyward, whenever it is that he comes up. To be honest with you, Escobar might be leading off if Nate Mcclouth continues to struggle the way that he is. Diaz could also lead off…

        Speculation at it’s finest right?

      • That’s good info on Pujols.

        I consider 3-4-5 the real heart and that’s not going to change. (Jones-Glaus-Mccann)

        It looks like 6-7 will be between Escobar and Heyward, whenever it is that he comes up. To be honest with you, Escobar might be leading off if Nate Mcclouth continues to struggle the way that he is. Diaz could also lead off…

        Speculation at it’s finest right?

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Umm.. I’m not sure if you consider 6th or 7th the heart of the line up or not, but that’s where pujols batted in 01.

  15. KeiIgawa 5 years ago

    .271/.345/.447. Put it in the books.

  16. mw3 5 years ago

    The kid should have been called up in September last year. He is already the best player on the team. Keeping him in the minors would be the equivilent of keeping Griffey Jr. down in 89 or Pujols in 2001 there is no reason except service time manipulation. And the comparison to Longoria is bogus he is more ready than Longoria was. Hell he might hit for a .330 avg much less obp. I would expect that his power may take a year or so to show up fully though.

    • wutangklanodb 5 years ago

      I don’t know if the comparison to Longoria is “bogus” Longoria hit, .281 /.364/.526 in his rookie season. He lead the Rays to the World Series and was the unanimous rookie of the year, it’s pretty hard to say Heyward is more ready than Longoria was. The Braves would be ecstatic if Heyward could do what Longoria did in his rookie season.

      • wutangklanodb 5 years ago

        My fault Longoria hit .272/.343/.531 in his rookie season

      • wutangklanodb 5 years ago

        My fault Longoria hit .272/.343/.531 in his rookie season

      • mw3 5 years ago

        Longoria was drafted out of Long Beach State and made his debut in his age 23 season. If he were anywhere close to the player Heyward is he never would have went to college. The comps for Heyward are Griffey Jr., Pujols and Arod. He is in that class of player. He bats left handed and I watched him go 5 for 5 against left handed pitchers in a game last year. He is a once a decade talent who might not hit for the power expected right away but will hit for a high average. It would be an insult to send him down when he is already the best all around player on the team.

        • So Longoria wasn’t ready after HS, what’s your point? Doesn’t mean he is a fantastic young player. Forget about age we’re talking about rookie seasons. Heyward would be lucky to have as good a rookie year as Longoria.

          I’m a Braves fan & am so excited about Heyward. But some fans are acting like it’s a given he’s going to play great his rookie year.

    • wutangklanodb 5 years ago

      I don’t know if the comparison to Longoria is “bogus” Longoria hit, .281 /.364/.526 in his rookie season. He lead the Rays to the World Series and was the unanimous rookie of the year, it’s pretty hard to say Heyward is more ready than Longoria was. The Braves would be ecstatic if Heyward could do what Longoria did in his rookie season.

  17. mw3 5 years ago

    Griffey Jr. and Pujols started on opening day their first year. Heyward is the same kind of talent, to send him down would be an insult to Heyward and the fans.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      If you keep him down for even two weeks you get an entire additional YEAR of control. If he’s as good as you imagine, that’s a sacrifice you easily make. No-brainer.

  18. tradex 5 years ago

    The braves right now are looking good for 2010. The one thing they’re in desperate need of is some power. Yeah we got Chipper Jones. But he is on the verge of retirement and I don’t know what kind of health issues will come up this year for him. Yeah we got Glaus but he has yet to prove he is fully recovered and can get us the power we need. Brian Mccann is a stud and will provide us with some of that power we are looking for but we defiantly need one more good bat in the lineup. I think Heyward is not only the answer but can single handedly be the guy that helps the Braves get to the playoffs again.

  19. tradex 5 years ago

    The braves right now are looking good for 2010. The one thing they’re in desperate need of is some power. Yeah we got Chipper Jones. But he is on the verge of retirement and I don’t know what kind of health issues will come up this year for him. Yeah we got Glaus but he has yet to prove he is fully recovered and can get us the power we need. Brian Mccann is a stud and will provide us with some of that power we are looking for but we defiantly need one more good bat in the lineup. I think Heyward is not only the answer but can single handedly be the guy that helps the Braves get to the playoffs again.

  20. tradex 5 years ago

    The braves right now are looking good for 2010. The one thing they’re in desperate need of is some power. Yeah we got Chipper Jones. But he is on the verge of retirement and I don’t know what kind of health issues will come up this year for him. Yeah we got Glaus but he has yet to prove he is fully recovered and can get us the power we need. Brian Mccann is a stud and will provide us with some of that power we are looking for but we defiantly need one more good bat in the lineup. I think Heyward is not only the answer but can single handedly be the guy that helps the Braves get to the playoffs again.

  21. tradex 5 years ago

    The braves right now are looking good for 2010. The one thing they’re in desperate need of is some power. Yeah we got Chipper Jones. But he is on the verge of retirement and I don’t know what kind of health issues will come up this year for him. Yeah we got Glaus but he has yet to prove he is fully recovered and can get us the power we need. Brian Mccann is a stud and will provide us with some of that power we are looking for but we defiantly need one more good bat in the lineup. I think Heyward is not only the answer but can single handedly be the guy that helps the Braves get to the playoffs again.

  22. philpbarnes 5 years ago

    I hope he does. Would make the Braves a fun team to watch this year.

  23. philpbarnes 5 years ago

    I hope he does. Would make the Braves a fun team to watch this year.

  24. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    Honestly….and I know this has never been done before….. but I wouldn’t be shocked if the didn’t offer him a Longoria type deal before opening day and signed him then to get it out of the way.

  25. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    Honestly….and I know this has never been done before….. but I wouldn’t be shocked if the didn’t offer him a Longoria type deal before opening day and signed him then to get it out of the way.

  26. jaydh 5 years ago

    One can only hope that they rush him to the majors which in turn creates a setback in his development.

  27. jaydh 5 years ago

    One can only hope that they rush him to the majors which in turn creates a setback in his development.

  28. markjsunz 5 years ago

    You might want to see him have a full season in the majors before we secure a place for him in the Hall of fame.This guy is being touted as the best thing since Hank Aaron. If you want to destroy a guys career just rush him to the big leagues. There is no need to sign Heywood to a long term contract, the parent club has him by the short and curlys for the next six years.Then if he is the superstar he is touted to be he will have the braves by the short and the curlys for the rest of his career such is the ways of modern major league baseball.

  29. markjsunz 5 years ago

    You might want to see him have a full season in the majors before we secure a place for him in the Hall of fame.This guy is being touted as the best thing since Hank Aaron. If you want to destroy a guys career just rush him to the big leagues. There is no need to sign Heywood to a long term contract, the parent club has him by the short and curlys for the next six years.Then if he is the superstar he is touted to be he will have the braves by the short and the curlys for the rest of his career such is the ways of modern major league baseball.

  30. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    I wouldnt give him a contract as quick as longoria but maybe next year.

  31. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    I wouldnt give him a contract as quick as longoria but maybe next year.

  32. bravesphanatik 5 years ago

    he will be in RF on opening day… no doubt. lets just hope when he doesnt hit 20 hrs, braves fans dont run him out of town. he is a rookie. people are expecting waaaaaaay too much of this kid….

    fans are putting the weight of the world on this kids shoulders thinking hes going to hit .303 with 37 hrs and 123 rbi… he wont have half of those stats. this kid is going to win us a world series or two… but its not happening this year. braves fans as a whole need to temper their expectations of jason for this upcoming season or they are going to be sorely disappointed.

    as far as the super two status goes… i think the braves dont care about that as they are hoping they can strike a deal with him within the next couple years.

  33. bravesphanatik 5 years ago

    he will be in RF on opening day… no doubt. lets just hope when he doesnt hit 20 hrs, braves fans dont run him out of town. he is a rookie. people are expecting waaaaaaay too much of this kid….

    fans are putting the weight of the world on this kids shoulders thinking hes going to hit .303 with 37 hrs and 123 rbi… he wont have half of those stats. this kid is going to win us a world series or two… but its not happening this year. braves fans as a whole need to temper their expectations of jason for this upcoming season or they are going to be sorely disappointed.

    as far as the super two status goes… i think the braves dont care about that as they are hoping they can strike a deal with him within the next couple years.

  34. ronjba 5 years ago

    In a tight pennant race/wild card race that the Braves will most likely be in, every win will count. If you get to the playoffs, it’s like an additional $40 million in revenue. A full season of Heyward, and healthy Braves, would most likely get you to the playoffs and possibly the pennant. This is way worth any arbitration money that Heyward could or could not receive. Start the guy.

  35. jadarm 5 years ago

    Signs that Heyward may start in Atlanta?

    I noticed that the Braves didn’t dig in on Johnny Damon this off-season but haven’t really seen any mention of it in this thread. True, it could have been budgetary constraints that prevented the Braves from being a serious option for Damon but I don’t think Wren would have had much of a problem freeing up another 3 to 4 MM in order to sign a legitimate lead-off hitter like Damon and then utilize McClouth’s power lower in the lineup somewhere.

    That, as much as anything else, told me that….barring something akin to a horrific showing this spring by Heyward…well, he was already as much as penciled in for opening day.

  36. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Guy has not slumped yet. Easy to call that an indicator of greatness, but wiser to recognize it as a red flag. He needs to slump. He needs to strike out four times in a game in the middle of a 10-for-50 dry spell. He needs to look foolish against a couple of guys.

    He needs to do all that so that he can learn how to hang through and break out of it. Like Griffey and Longoria and even Pujols, he is not and will never be invincible. Slumps happen. And right now you’re looking at an eager, extremely talented young hitter who has no experience at all with being shown up.

    The Show, in front of an entire League that expects him to put on a ROY performance for a team that NEEDS that kind of performance for a playoff run, is not the place to experience your first slump.

    Let him spend a couple of months (at least) tearing up AAA. Let him learn a couple of things. In the meantime, secure an additional year of control. Then set him loose.

  37. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Why Heward needs to be in RF on opening day:

    1. His plate control: Its mainly his batting eye that makes him a #1 overall prospect its one tool that translates well and quickly at the major league level. On the scouting scale his plate discipline and pitch selection is 80/80. He flat out doesn’t offer at bad pitches. Even other managers who have watched him play this spring say that he has not swung at one bad pitch. He has 5 walks, one strikeout on two very questionable called strikes, and a crushed HR on a count he worked to 3-2 after falling behind 0-2. He may not have a full 80/80 power on the scouting scale like Howard had or Stanton has now, but plate control translates better and quicker than just pure raw power.

    2. His defense: If he plays this season the way his scouting report reads and how he has played so far this spring he will without a doubt post a 10+ UZR/150 in RF. He has a plus-plus arm and the range to play center. If he is ‘still adjusting’ at the plate he would still be adding plenty of value in the field over Cabrera’s range and Diaz’s arm in RF.

    3. His speed: This tool may not last into his 30s, but right now he has the speed and stealing skills to steal 20-25 bags a season and be a threat to score from first or second on a well hit ball. Along with his defense, this is another thing that will be adding value to the team outside of his bat.

    4. His makeup: By all acounts he maxes out all scouting scales for mental makeup and intelligence. This is important as so much pressure is being put on him at the age of 20. Nobody close to him doubts he will be adversly effected by the pressure or instant fame.

    Now I’m not foolish enough to expect something like a .350BA with 50-2B 40-HR and 130RBI, but if Bobby bats him second (like he has a few times this spring) it woudn’t be all that far fetched to get something like a .300/.400/.500 20HR 25SB and around a +12UZR/150 in RF. That is what is on the line here folks.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. I always enjoy reading your posts because they are always well written and are very logical. With his plate discipline, his OBP will be at least .100 points higher than his batting average, like you say. .300 might be a stretch, but from watching him play with Mississippi last year and what he has done at every level, it would not shock me. I can definitely see a .285/.395/.485 line. One thing to keep in mind is where he hits in the order. If he is in the 2 hole, i can see his slugging come down with him placing more emphasis on gap hitting and line drives, knowing he has chipper, glaus and mccann behind him to bring him home. If he is in the 6/7 hole then I think he will be more likely to take more power swings early in counts to try to drive guys in. However, if he falls behind he can pull it back a little bit and be that great line drive hitter who works an 0-2 or 1-2 count into a walk or even to 2-2 and 3-2 counts where pitchers are will give him a better pitch to hit.
      Regardless of where he hits in the order, it needs to be in Atlanta’s order and not Gwinetts. With him, nate and a diaz/melky platoon, this is Atlanta’s best option. Also, when he needs a day off, they have Hinske and Melky to spell him. I read that if he makes the Braves, then he won’t be platooned against tought lefties, but they may be good days to give him a breather. Left right sidearm it doesn’t matter this kid is gonna hit.
      Its good to see the braves getting close to contending for a world series again. Maybe not this year, but with Freeman, Teheran, Vizcaino, and even Schafer they have something to look forward to in the next 5 years.

  38. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Why Heward needs to be in RF on opening day:

    1. His plate control: Its mainly his batting eye that makes him a #1 overall prospect its one tool that translates well and quickly at the major league level. On the scouting scale his plate discipline and pitch selection is 80/80. He flat out doesn’t offer at bad pitches. Even other managers who have watched him play this spring say that he has not swung at one bad pitch. He has 5 walks, one strikeout on two very questionable called strikes, and a crushed HR on a count he worked to 3-2 after falling behind 0-2. He may not have a full 80/80 power on the scouting scale like Howard had or Stanton has now, but plate control translates better and quicker than just pure raw power.

    2. His defense: If he plays this season the way his scouting report reads and how he has played so far this spring he will without a doubt post a 10+ UZR/150 in RF. He has a plus-plus arm and the range to play center. If he is ‘still adjusting’ at the plate he would still be adding plenty of value in the field over Cabrera’s range and Diaz’s arm in RF.

    3. His speed: This tool may not last into his 30s, but right now he has the speed and stealing skills to steal 20-25 bags a season and be a threat to score from first or second on a well hit ball. Along with his defense, this is another thing that will be adding value to the team outside of his bat.

    4. His makeup: By all acounts he maxes out all scouting scales for mental makeup and intelligence. This is important as so much pressure is being put on him at the age of 20. Nobody close to him doubts he will be adversly effected by the pressure or instant fame.

    Now I’m not foolish enough to expect something like a .350BA with 50-2B 40-HR and 130RBI, but if Bobby bats him second (like he has a few times this spring) it woudn’t be all that far fetched to get something like a .300/.400/.500 20HR 25SB and around a +12UZR/150 in RF. That is what is on the line here folks.

  39. atlantaspike 5 years ago

    I can’t believe there are people who think that his impact in ten lousy games (half on the road) is worth an entire season in the future. The Braves are being irresponsible if they start him on Day 1.

  40. Guest 5 years ago

    His numbers in his rookie year will probably be pretty close to Matt Wieters, but with a lower average, and more power, with maybe a dozen steals (so, he’ll pretty much be completely different than Matt Wieters) Maybe a .280 average, 20-25 Homeruns, 75-80 RBI (depending on where he ends up hitting throughout the season; which will depend on injuries and how well he does of course… If Glaus and/or Chip get hurt, he could end up around 5th spot

  41. Clint Chirpich 5 years ago

    Ugh. I watched last week’s game versus the Mets on SNY and came away thinking that announcing team is the WORST I have ever heard. They didn’t know anything and weren’t even following the game. Keith might have been an All-Star player, but he shouldn’t be doing announcing. He wasn’t the only bad one, though. Both Ron and Gary were very much below average announcers.

  42. Guest 5 years ago

    Well, now that Heyward made the team (and got off to a hot start in the first 10 or so games), he’s gotta start showing that he belongs

  43. lewisjsl 5 years ago

    Do you know anything about the Braves or Heyward? There is no shot in hell he spends the ENTIRE YEAR in the minors. Its either he spends some time (2 weeks to 2 months) or straight from the start. And this kid can handle the pressure, just ask anyone one in the clubhouse.

  44. inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

    Sounds like wishful thinking from metsvilleslugger. Another year in the minors would keep Heyward away from the Mets pitching a little longer.

  45. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Okay, so you’ve asked the guys in the clubhouse?

    Sorry, but that kind of comment always bugs me, unless the person actually talked to these guys. Their personality in the clubhouse is extremely difficult for a fan to judge, because we’re never THERE. We also are only on extremely rare occasions able to actually have a conversation with a major leaguer, so…we don’t really know what goes on back there. We can hear what their coaches and teammates say, but of course take that with a grain of salt, as what they say to reporters isn’t always exactly what is actually happening.

  46. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    I agree that those scenarios are probable, but if he starts in the minors and slumps for a month or so, there will definitely be a longer delay. And the kid’s gotta slump sometime – for his own good.

  47. $1526717 5 years ago

    He might still be feeling burned from the Gregg Jefferies hype.

  48. was385 5 years ago

    They are completely different players. Bruce was a strikeout machine who many people figured would struggle because his plate discipline was not a strength. Heyward is an incredibly advanced hitter who has an incredible knowledge of the strikezone and is physically ready to be in the majors. Any discussion about him starting the year in the majors or not is around money, not whether he is ready or not… he is.

  49. was385 5 years ago

    They are completely different players. Bruce was a strikeout machine who many people figured would struggle because his plate discipline was not a strength. Heyward is an incredibly advanced hitter who has an incredible knowledge of the strikezone and is physically ready to be in the majors. Any discussion about him starting the year in the majors or not is around money, not whether he is ready or not… he is.

  50. JBRSOXFAN 5 years ago

    Well, clubhouse assistant here for the visiting side in AA at Tenn. Heyward’s demeanor changes as soon as he walks in those double doors leading from the parking lot. Sure he’s not always serious, but he really does concentrate before the game.

  51. ronjba 5 years ago

    I have a friend who knows Matt Diaz (he’s a close friend of his). Diaz says for 100% he’ll be in right field.

  52. cavebird 5 years ago

    But you still clearly don’t know Heyward’s game. You state he should spend another year in the minors “learning how to make more contact with pitches.” That is not Heyward’s problem. (Actually, as one scout put it when asked last year what Heyward needed to improve: “nothing”). Heyward’s BB/K ratio last season was 1. (1.00, same number of BB’s and K’s.) This spring, Heyward has one strike out and 6 walks (plus a HBP) in 22 or 23 plate appearances that have included only 3 or 4 pitches that he has swung and missed on. If he made more contact than he is making this spring, he would be the best player in history at making contact.

    Look, age is a number. Some kids can’t handle it too young, others can. Those around him seem to think he is ready. (Chipper stated yesterday that Heyward needed to be up on opening day.) You bring him up when he is ready unless you are such a low budget franchise (e.g. the Rays) that you have to manipulate service time rules. If that is Opening Day, you bring him up then; if that is July, do it then, if it is 2011, do it then. At the moment, it sure as hell looks like April 5, 2010.

  53. cavebird 5 years ago

    You are incorrect regarding who Heyward is hitting against in Spring Training. Heyward has been starting games with the regulars, facing major league pitchers such as Halladay, Oswalt, Scherzer, etc. Heyward’s hits and batting average and reports from the games show that he is making good solid contact (I am not sure if a 450 ft. HR can be anything, but good solid contact, lol.)

    But it isn’t just this spring; last year in the minors, he didn’t have contact problems, and his strikeout rates have never been very high. (Some minor leaguers, such as Cody Johnson of the Braves do have severe contact problems, fwiw, Heyward just isn’t one of those guys.) Plain and simple, there is no evidence that Heyward has an issue with making contact and solid contact at that.

    In the end, your argument is simply because he is 20 years old, he cannot possibly have enough experience to succeed at the major league level and there must require more seasoning in the minors. That argument is what it is. He is 20. If you want to draw a line in the sand with age, that’s fine. I just don’t see it that way. If those who see him play and have experience evaluating talent think he is ready, that works for me.

    As for comments, yes, organizations generally say positive things about their prospects. On the other hand, they usually also talk about their youth and the need for seasoning and working on things with their game. The Braves just aren’t doing that with Heyward, which is pretty remarkable (and more than a bit surprising).

  54. cavebird 5 years ago

    After the starters leave in a spring training game, major league relievers usually come next, then the scrubs, who are usually in when the scrub hitters are in. So, no, not all of his plate appearances have been against star pitchers, most have been against major league pitchers (well, I guess that depends on whether you consider the staffs of the Nats and Mets to be comprised on major-league pitchers, lol).

    I have a question about this comment: “The point is, he is inconsistent with his mechanics in his swing which means he is erratic with putting solid contact on the ball.” What do you base this upon? Have you seen any reports saying that he is inconsistent with the mechanics in his swing? Or that this alleged inconsistency has caused him to be erratic in making solid contact? (If so, please link them.) Or is this all your assumption based upon his age and/or experience level?

    As for “experience” vs. age, okay, maybe you are basing it on experience, but by your criteria, no 20 yr. old would ever have the experience you think necessary; so age can be a determinative factor.

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