Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to see him later this season. The Braves OF situation is enough of a mixup that Bobby Cox may want to see what the kid has, ala Jeff Francouer a few years back. Of course, that didn't work out as well as we Braves fans had hoped.
Braves manager Bobby Cox confirmed Thursday that he's considering having Jason Heyward begin the 2010 season in the big leagues.
"He’s virtually skipping Triple-A if he makes the team," manager Bobby Cox said Thursday. "That doesn’t happen often. But in his case we just feel that he should, if he’s going to come to spring training, be given a crack at it." The 20-year-old Heyward went 4-for-11 during his debut at the Triple-A level last season and batted .323/.408/.555 in 362 at-bats overall. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Saw this on RotoWorld last Friday; it WAS earth shaking; might not happen, but its still a possibility it seems
From David O'Brien in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Chipper on Heyward: As long as we’re on the subject of the future Face of the Franchise, here’s what the current Face said about Heyward when I asked Chipper Jones this week about the big kid (6-4, 245 pounds) who figures to be in right field before the Fourth of July, and perhaps three months sooner than that.
“I got to hit with him yesterday, and I was more than impressed,” Chipper said on Wednesday. “I’ve got a pretty good feeling he’s going to seize this opportunity and make the most of it.”
People keep asking me – your Crusading Everyman, Pseudo-Hipster blogmeister — and everyone else who’s seen Heyward whom we’d compare him to, and I’ve said physically he reminds me of Derrek Lee. I think he hits the ball as hard as Cliff Floyd, who Jim Leyland once told me hit them as hard or harder than anyone Leyland had ever seen.
As for Chipper, he says Heyward reminds him of someone that many Braves fans are more familiar with. Fred McGriff.
“His swing’s obviously a little different, but he looks like a bigger, more muscular version of Fred,” Chipper said. “And that’s saying something. Fred’s 6-5, 230 or so. This kid, he’s built like a brick house. And to watch the way the ball jumps off his bat … it’s batting practice, I know, and everybody’s supposed to do that in batting practice. But…. ... of the Crime Dog, Freddy McGriff
... of the Crime Dog, Freddy McGriff
“It’s going to be interesting to see how he hits the breaking stuff, how he makes adjustments pitch-to-pitch, at-bat to at-bat, can he make the adjustment. And that’s all something he’s done in the minor leagues. It’s a little bit different making the adjustment up here, but looking at his makeup, mindset and coachability, it looks like he’s ready and raring to go.”
News: After only three days of full-squad workouts, manager Bobby Cox said the Braves already have decided to install nets behind the right-field wall to protect cars from Jason Heyward's long home runs. One of Heyward's home runs over the right-field wall smashed through the sun roof of assistant GM Bruce Manno's car on Tuesday. Cox said the repair bill was $3,400. Heyward (6-5, 245) hit the video board behind the wall in right-center in Thursday's batting practice. Analysis: Heyward is arguably the best prospect in baseball and could be an impact Fantasy pick in all leagues for this season. Consider him more of a late-round player in a standard mixed league, but he has elite potential long term. If he was a bit older than 20 and a little more seasoned as a pro, we would consider him a lot more valuable than that, obviously. It is just very tough to expect immediate dominance out of such a young and raw talent.
He's having a really good start to spring training. Already hit a BOMB off of Max Scherzer. Already has 2 doubles a hr and 2 sb's. Hitting for like a .419 avg. Keep in mind its only the beginning of spring training but things are looking positive for this guy. Lets include 6 walks to go along with that. So it'll be interesting to see what the Braves do
Jason Heyward is essentially a lock to make the roster out of Spring. However, it's not really his skill set that confirm this. Heyward is the type of guy that hustles, respects the game, and listens attentively to any criticism thrown his way. Also, lets not forget that Heyward features a plus arm in the outfield.
I was lucky enough to follow Heyward from the very beginning, as he played two seasons at High-A Myrtle Beach. For those of you thinking he's just trying hard now to make the roster, he's had his work ethic from day 1. He's everybit what Griffey was when he first appeared on the scene in early 90's.