Heyward recognized at Turner Field

As Ryan Howard passed by during batting practice at Turner Field on Friday evening,  I mentioned to Jason Heyward that he was bigger than Philadelphia’s imposing first baseman. 

“I might be taller, but I don’t think I’m bigger,” said the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Heyward.    

Heyward, who turned 20 years-old in August, may realize some slight physical growth.  But  already he’s provided reason to believe his stature could soon be every bit as big as Howard’s and many of the game’s other great players. 

Last week, Baseball America named Heyward it’s Minor League Player of the Year.  In its midseason report released in July, the highly-respected publication named him the game’s top overall prospect. 

“It’s nice to have your hard work recognized and to be seen,” Heyward said. “To see the Braves uniform on that cover twice in one season is awesome in and of itself.”

Heyward was among the Minor League Award winners that the Braves recognized before Friday night’s series opener against the Phillies.  He was named the organization’s Minor League player of the year and Craig Kimbrell was named the organization’s Minor League pitcher of the year.  

Having completed a short stint with Triple-A Gwinnett last week, Heyward is enjoying some down time before heading to Phoenix in a couple of weeks to compete in the Arizona Fall League. 

But Heyward’s primary focus remains on coming to Spring Training next year and proving that he belongs in the Majors.  Having compiled just 173 at-bats above the Class A level, the highly regarded outfielder will likely need some additional Minor League seasoning.

Still the consensus is that the suburban Atlanta product will be making his big league debut with his hometown club at some point during the 2010 season.

“The goal every year going to Spring Training is to make it to the Majors,” Heyward said. “Then once that happens, there will be other goals.”  

5 Comments

Im still kind of perplexed with the organizations stance on Heyward.

If they call him up now for a few weeks it has the chance to make him a Super Two.

HOWEVER

By 2012 which would be Heywards first year of arbitration. We would be in the last year of Lowe’s deal. Also would be rid of Javy, Hudson, and Kawakami by then so the team will have some money.

Even aside from that the Braves have always been an organization to fork over the money to lock up its talent (Smoltz, Glavine, Chip, Andruw, McCann, Maddux) and the list goes on.

So basically if we are gonna be locking him up for a long time anyway why not just go ahead and call him up.

Im still kind of perplexed with the organizations stance on Heyward.

If they call him up now for a few weeks it has the chance to make him a Super Two.

HOWEVER

By 2012 which would be Heywards first year of arbitration. We would be in the last year of Lowe’s deal. Also would be rid of Javy, Hudson, and Kawakami by then so the team will have some money.

Even aside from that the Braves have always been an organization to fork over the money to lock up its talent (Smoltz, Glavine, Chip, Andruw, McCann, Maddux) and the list goes on.

So basically if we are gonna be locking him up for a long time anyway why not just go ahead and call him up.

“We would be in the last year of Lowe’s deal. Also would be rid of Javy, Hudson, and Kawakami by then so the team will have some money.”

So… we might have a lot of money but that is most of our pitching staff. We should probably make sure we have a great deal of money to sign good pitchers too? Don’t you think we should make sure we have a lot of cash to sign Tommy to an extension? We have to keep options open. I would love to see him up here right now too, but it’s in the best interest of the club to give him Tommy treatment and bring him up after a few months next year.

The Braves don’t have the money that they did back when Turner owned the team. They were willing to spend to lock up their stars because they had the money to do so. They used to have one of the highest payrolls in the game while Ted was the owner, and now they only have an average payroll at best (~$95-$100 million).

Keep Heyward’s arbitration clock from ticking! Hanson and Heyward are future $20 million players. Don’t expect to see either one of them in a Braves uniform in their 30’s. Maybe we could sign Hanson to a Derek Lowe sized contract when he’s 36 or 37 — you know — once his $200 million contract with the Yankees has expired.

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