Jacob Heyward: Prospect Profile for San Francisco Giants' 18th-Round Pick

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2016

CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 16: Jacob Heyward #24 of the Miami Hurricanes poses during media day on February 16, 2016 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Player: Jacob Heyward

Position: OF

DOB: August 1, 1995 (20 years old)

Height/Weight: 6'2", 210 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Miami

Previously Drafted: 2013 (38th round by ATL)

 

Background

The younger brother of Chicago Cubs star Jason Heyward, college outfielder Jacob Heyward may not have the same upside as his famous sibling, but he's a legitimate MLB prospect in his own right.

The Atlanta Braves made him a 38th-round selection out of high school in 2013, but he honored his commitment to Miami, where he's flashed the raw tools necessary to succeed at the next level.

"He threw 94 off the mound, can run a little bit, hits for power," the older Heyward told Carroll Rogers Walton of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after his brother was drafted in 2013. "He’s got some growing to do. I don’t know if he’s going to be as tall as me, but as far as athleticism and all that stuff, he’s right up there with the next guy."

The younger Heyward saw limited action as a freshman but put together a terrific sophomore campaign that saw him hit .327/.440/.473 with four doubles, four home runs, 24 RBI and 37 runs scored as the Hurricanes' starting right fielder.

His batting average has dipped to .226 this season, but he's still getting on base at a solid .389 clip thanks to a ratio of 44 walks to 50 strikeouts.

He's also continued to show some intriguing raw power, tallying 10 doubles and six home runs while driving in 37 runs and scoring 41.

 

Pick Analysis

CORAL GABLES, FL - MAY 15: Jacob Heyward #24 of the Miami Hurricanes hits the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on May 15, 2015 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Florida. Miami defeated Georgia Tech 3-0. (Photo by Joel
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Heyward won't move as quickly as some collegiate bats, but he's shown good patience at the plate and more projectability than most players his age.

Baseball America ranked him as the No. 291 prospect in this year's draft, providing this scouting report:

He has been inconsistent this spring, but his tools remain intriguing to scouts. Heyward has good bat speed that translates into above-average raw power thanks to his strong 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame. But he hasn't been able to get to it consistently this spring.

Heyward has an average arm and average speed. Defensively, he fits best in left field. His bat will have to play more consistently to fit that profile, but he has good enough raw tools for a team to bet on his ability to improve.

Turning his raw power into game power will be his biggest challenge, but that tool is intriguing enough to make him worthy of a selection.

 

MLB Player Comparison: Brandon Barnes

Jun 25, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Brandon Barnes (1) hits a two run RBI double in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Diamondbacks 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Barnes has topped 300 at-bats just once in his career, but he's been a useful fourth outfielder during his time with the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies.

Heyward has better plate discipline and more power potential, while Barnes is a better defender who is capable of playing all three outfield spots.

However, in terms of the potential impact Heyward could make at the MLB level, it's a fitting comparison.

Both guys are right-handed bats with pop and solid athleticism, and Heyward is a good enough athlete to add some outfield versatility as a pro.

The best-case scenario for Heyward might be something like Marlon Byrd during his time with the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.

For now, an offensive-minded fourth outfielder looks like the safest comparison.

 

Projection: Fourth outfielder, unless his power tool takes off

 

Major League ETA: Late 2021

 

Chances of Signing: 50 percent

After a standout sophomore season, Heyward has seen his numbers plummet across the board this year. He's one of the few college juniors who could stand to benefit from a return to college for his final season of eligibility.

 

College statistics courtesy of The Baseball Cube, unless otherwise noted, and accurate through Wednesday, June 8.