Sure I have a man crush on him. Who doesn’t get a little excited when you draft a player in the 13th round that could possibly be your keeper for years to come? Plus he’s a Jersey Boy, growing up just minutes from where I live.
I first read about Heyward last year. He was one of the top 25 prospects. They were comparing him to a young Fred McGriff, mostly because he’s a lefty, but also because he’s a 5 tool player with a great eye and immense power.
So what signs do we look for to tell if he will be the next Pujols?
He’s 20 years old and a monster of a boy. (6’5″- 240) Now that he's in the big leagues he will have access to a major league training facility and conditioning coaches who will make him bigger and stronger than he already is – Yikes!
First good sign… In spring training batting practice he was blasting homers into the parking lot and breaking car windows. The Braves actually had to pay for higher netting. You don't hear stories like that too often.
Then the Say Hey Kid gets the call that he will be the Braves starting Right Fielder. Not bad for 20. What does he do to prove he belongs in the big leagues? He pulls a Will Clark and homers in his first at bat!
Now there have been plenty of players over the years that have come up scorching hot and then disappeared into the baseball black hole. I think everyone's favorite (or unfavorite) disappearing act was Kevin Maas. Even more recently we had Jay Bruce come up with a monster start but then fall way back down to earth.
Unlike those two examples, Heyward seems to be taking it slow but steady. He has amazing plate discipline and doesn’t just hit for power. In 40 at bats so far he’s hitting .300, 3 hr, 12 rbis, 7 runs, and 7 walks. A little quick math tells us that if he gets 550 at bats he’ll hit 41 homers, 165 rbis, 96 runs, and 96 walks. Okay okay, those numbers are crazy to expect out of a rookie, but even if he gets 50-75% of that, they are still pretty impressive.
The Braves are rebuilding (seems like they have been for a while now) and it looks like they may have found their future leader. I’m riding high on this Man Boy and might be eating my words by season end, but I’m a gambler and I would absolutely double down on this guy. Its doubtful he’s available in any leagues at this point so make a decent trade offer for this guy. You won’t regret it.
What are your thoughts? Any other prospects primed for a breakout year? Leave a comment at the TOP of this blog!
Tags: The Fantasy Fix, Fantasy Baseball, Atlanta Braves, MLB, Fantasy Sports Blog, Evan Marx, Jason Heyward