Jaosn Heyward Mania Reaches NL West, San Francisco Giants

Victor Valladares JrContributor IApril 9, 2010

ATLANTA - APRIL 07:  Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves prepares to bat against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field on April 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Okay, three scenarios:

1. A tsunami racing across the ocean

2. An avalanche roaring down a mountain

3. Godzilla approaching Tokyo

What do these three scenarios have in common besides destruction?

They are unavoidable.

One way or another, they are going to happen.  You may run, but it's going to hit whether you like it or not.

A fourth scenario also carries this quality: Jason Heyward.

We've all heard about him.  The supposed legendary power.  The poise and maturity.  The speed and cannon of an arm.  The ooooh, the awe.

It was all on display in Atlanta during their opening series versus the Cubs.  Heyward burst into the national spotlight with an impressive opening day performance.  He drove in four runs including a three-run home run in the first swing of his major league career.  He added an RBI in the second game as well.

Rookies aren't supposed to display this type of immediate impact nor display his type of poise.  It's practically unheard of.

But that's why he's so exciting to watch.  And guess what Giants fans, he's making a three day stop in San Francisco.

Time to panic?  Not yet, at least.

Don't forget he's only made three major league starts and still does not generate the buzz Barry Bonds did.  The arrival of Bonds in any ballpark was enough to fill a stadium, no matter how pathetic the team may have been.  Heyward does not yet possess that type of power to single-handedly fill a stadium.

Is Heyward manageable?  At this point in his career, yes.

As previously mentioned, Heyward has displayed a poise beyond his years.  Did that stop him from swinging and missing three straight Carlos Marmol sliders in the final game of the series?  No.

He's no Bonds.  Bonds' incredible and indisputable knowledge of the strike zone and methodology of waiting for his pitch made him virtually "unmanageable".  There was no way to pitch to him.

The same goes for Albert Pujols who controls every corner of the strike zone.

Heyward's first roundtrip through the league will be followed with the burden of adjusting to the league.  It's too early to say whether or not he will be troubled by this.

In the opposite sense, the league will also try to figure out what exactly they have on their hands here.

Another Pujols?  Perhaps but again, still too early to say.

Heyward's short, compact swing enables him to demolish anything in the lower, inside part of the strike zone with ease (take a look at his opening day home run).  I'm positive Giants pitchers have taken notice.

It's risky to even try anything that breaks below the strike zone unless your breaking ball breaks like a Jonathan Broxton slider, a Clayton Kershaw curveball, or a Tim Lincecum changeup.

Speaking of Tim Lincecum, Heyward will face arguably baseball's finest pitcher on Sunday barring a day off.  Heyward may very well be taught a lesson in "nastiness" once Lincecum's through with him.

But then again with the "J-A Kid" (lousy nickname I heard the other day), the tables may be turned on Lincecum.  With the excitement and lack of clarity surrounding Heyward it's sort of impossible to determine what he'll bring to San Francisco and the rest of the league for that matter.

In actuality, the hype surrounding Heyward is probably unfair to a rookie who probably just wants to help his team win any way he can.

But yet the here comes Heyward roaring across the nation like an unstoppable freight train.

It's going to be interesting to see Heyward in action over the span of this year and his entire career.  Whether or not he one days generates a Bonds or Pujols hype is still unclear but one thing is clear.

The Jason Heyward express has arrived and we're the ones going along for the ride.


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