When I woke up this morning I got an e-mail about my Jason Heyward Baseball-Reference page sponsorship expiring in 20 days.
In a year’s time, it seems like I was barely able to take solace in my own epitaph written on that page:
Every once in a while, we who follow the game of baseball are blessed with a generational talent of that era. This is that player.
And I could be wrong, but I think Heyward is back. Really back. Been to the lowest depths and didn’t know how good he had it once back. The wheels could still fall off just like they did after last April, but I think we’re seeing that crown jewel prospect who was once ranked ahead of Stephen Strasburg starting to become a force again.
I had the chance to scout Heyward’s at-bats all day long on MLB.tv. I made my wife mad because she couldn’t peel me away from the computer screen to put up an umbrella on our new porch table. I had to see his plate presence. I had to see what kind of pitches he was swinging at. And of course, what kind of results was he yielding.
In the first at-bat of Heyward’s game (a 7-4 win to complete an Atlanta sweep over the Milwaukee Brewers) he got Chris Narveson into a 3-1 count but just got jammed and flew out to center. He didn’t swing at any bad pitches. Next time up Heyward hit a towering home run off the lefty starter into the right field seats. It doesn’t look like line-drive power to me. He followed that by lining a 3-0 count rocket to left field off a lefty reliever and a walk off John Axford.
These 1 for 3 with a walk and an extra base hit are the types of games that you will take all day long from Heyward, or any young player trying to make his way back. Heyward looks like he’s onto something special again.
And those are really cool shoes to honor Jackie Robinson.