Cameron recently wrote our mailbag with a question about one of our top prospects.
I’ve heard a lot about Jason Heyward, and with comparisons like Ryan Howard on one site, I was wondering how long before he could see time in the Bigs, and what position he would play, in your opinion at least, Ive heard 1st and LF, but I thought I should ask someone with at least some inside knowledge.
Jason Heyward is one of the Braves’ brightest prospects, ranked just behind Jordan Schafer by Baseball America as the Braves’ #2 prospect this year. Jason was the Braves’ top draft pick in 2007 (14th overall) and is playing the 2008 year at Class A Rome – just a little more than an hour north of the city, if you want to go see him play. In his early days with the team, he’s already making an impact and stands out. The man is 6’4″, 220 lbs, but he has extraordinary athleticism for a man his size.
I haven’t heard any comparisons to Ryan Howard (though they do seem to come from the same mold), but Braves’ GM Frank Wren compares him to a young Cliff Floyd – and hopes that Heyward can stay away from the injuries that torpedoed his career. “They look very similar. They’re great athletes who are strong and imposing. They’re very different than most guys.”
Heyward will probably be to the bigs in the next two to three years. He’s in Baseball America’s projected 2011 lineup for the Braves, playing next to Schafer and Francoeur, but if the Braves are unable to resign Mark Teixeira, there is speculation that Heyward may make the transfer to first base.
Heyward is ranked as the best power hitter in the Braves’ farm system, as well as the player with the most strike-zone discipline. He bats left and is working on being even more disciplined at the plate. Heyward will be a pleasure fo Braves fans when he makes it to the bigs. In 203 at-bats so far this year in Rome, he’s batting .340 with 7 home runs and 15 doubles. He’s only walked 14 times and struck out 35 times, so he needs to be a little more patient.
Overall, Heyward will be a very special player and I’m excited to see him develop in the coming years. He’s going to be an important key to the Braves of the future, whether he’s playing outfield or first base.
Tags: Jason Heyward, Prospects
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