5 Reasons Jason Heyward Will Still Be a Star for the Atlanta Braves

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2011

5 Reasons Jason Heyward Will Still Be a Star for the Atlanta Braves

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    It's no secret that Jason Heyward is having an off year.

    His average is down 50 points from last season, and he has struggled to get in any kind of rhythm for the Braves in 2011.

    All that being said, however, 2011 is the last we'll see of Heyward's struggles.

    Let's look at five reasons why the Braves right fielder will still be a star.

Traditional Sophomore Slump

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    Jason Heyward burst onto the national scene in 2010, posting phenomenal rookie numbers and barely falling short of the NL Rookie of the Year.

    He hit nearly .280 in 2010 and looked like he was on his way to a promising young career.

    But, as it often does, the sophomore season is the troublesome year.

    Last season, pitchers didn't quite know how to pitch the young rookie, and he could capitalize on their ignorance.  This year, however, pitchers have the book on Heyward and he hasn't been able to make the proper adjustments.

    Never fear, Braves fans—Heyward will come into season three with more experience and a better understanding of National League pitching.

Chipper Jones

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    Who better to mentor young hitters than a future first-ballot Hall of Famer?

    Having Chipper Jones in the dugout is invaluable to Heyward.

    Any comments, questions or concerns Heyward has about the art of hitting can probably be answered by the wily veteran third baseman.

    Make good use of him, Jason.

Walks

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    One of the best signs of a hitter's growth is the number of walks they earn.

    While Heyward's overall walk numbers have been down in 2010, he has started to turn the corner the last month. 

    His on-base percentage is a nice .413 in September.

A Solid September

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    Heyward's overall September numbers are awfully robust.

    He's hitting .265 with an on-base percentage upwards of .400, which definitely shows that at the minimum, the whole of 2010 wasn't a fluke.

    With the National League's power leaking like it has been in 2011, .265 is a pretty nice average.

Braves Have Confidence in Him

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    The biggest key for Jason Heyward is that Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves have confidence in him.

    Gonzalez is going to put him in the lineup night in and night out, knowing more reps will only help Heyward get out of this tailspin.

    Don't worry Jason, Braves Nation has not given up on you.