Jason Heyward Called Up to Gwinnett

Morgan CarterCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Outfielder Jason Heyward #77 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at Champions Stadium at Walt Disney World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As the Braves playoff hopes faded away this weekend, not all news was upsetting.  On Saturday, Atlanta promoted its top prospect Jason Heyward from AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett. 

Heyward, who will be playing for his third minor league team this year, hit .296 for Class A Myrtle Beach and .352 for Mississippi.  His AA numbers were very encouraging, showcasing his plate discipline (28 BB) and ability to get on base (.446 OBP).

Heyward's ascension provides a few bits of hope for the major league Braves who have dropped to seven games back in the wild card race. 

Atlanta has been wisely patient with their top rated prospect, whose five tool skills have had fans calling for him to be called up all the way to the bigs this September.  It seems as if the Braves will have Heyward go the route of their other young star Tommy Hanson, play this summer in the Arizona Fall League, get invited to Spring Training, and go back to Gwinnett until June when he may finally be called upon.

Heyward ideally would be entered into a situation in which there is little pressure to perform, allowing him to showcase his abilities without wins and losses being on the line.  But Braves fans, get excited, the anticipation is growing, Mr. Heyward has gotten closer to Atlanta.