The Tomahawk Review: Prospect Watch: Jason Heyward

Zach ElsterContributor IApril 20, 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)

The Atlanta Braves top position prospect is outfielder Jason Heyward. At 6’4” and 220 pounds, I wouldn’t be too quick to call him a “kid” to his face. However, his birth certificate gives me the justification to do so. This “kid” is only 19 years old.

In 514 minor league at-bats last year in single A, he hit 12 HR’s, stole 16 bags, and scored 95 runs, all while batting .315. So far this season, he has 3 HR’s, 10 runs, and is batting .325 in 40 at-bats. However, his most impressive stat doesn’t get the attention of those above.

In his 40 at-bats this season, he already has seven walks. One of Heyward’s most impressive attributes isn’t his power, speed or glove-work, it is his patience.

In his minor league career, he has played mainly right, and center field. However, with the Braves’ Jeff Francouer, and Jordan Schafer seemingly in place for years to come, Heyward may be making the move to left field at some point this year.

Heyward has received many commendations from all around baseball.  Baseball America ranks him as the fifth best prospect in all of baseball; MLB.com has him as the third best.

He has also won many official awards/honors, such as becoming a Baseball America Minor League All-Star, SAL Post-season All Star, SAL Most Outstanding Major League Prospect, and more.

His foot speed isn’t outstanding, but for his size, it’s well above average.  He shouldn’t have any issues with getting to balls in the outfield. His minor league fielding percentage through 2008 was 0.965.

After an impressive spring this year, I’d expect Heyward to get a chance for a few at-bats in the Majors when September call-up time comes. He’s anticipated to be an everyday outfielder for the Braves at some point in 2010.

With the attributes that he has, and the stats he’s accumulated, Jason Heyward has a chance to be a very good major league player. It won’t be long before everyone knows this “kid’s” name.


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