Wrapping up a busy day from Disney
Today was further proof that things can get a little busy when Hank Aaron arrives in camp. The Hammer expressed his appreciation for Bobby Cox, threw some love in the direction of Tommy Hanson and said that he’s reserving judgment on Jason Heyward until he sees how the 20-year-old outfielder performs at the Major League level.
Oh yeah, he also said that he was happy with Mark McGwire’s steroid confession, but wished the admission had been made sooner.
Before going over some of the highlights of Hank’s address, I’ll let you know that the Braves still haven’t provided confirmation that they have signed highly-regarded Dominican shortstop Edward Salcedo.
But it still appears that this deal could be confirmed in the very near future with the completion of a physical.
Braves international director of scouting Johnny Almarez was in camp today and there is reason to believe that his arrival had something to do with Salcedo, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop who is regarded among the best international prospects.
Early indications are that the Braves will be providing Salcedo with a signing bonus that is worth slightly north of $1.5 million, but less than $2 million.
OK now to recap some of the things Aaron had to say about the Braves:
(Thoughts about Cox’s retirement at the end of this season)
“It’s going to be sad when he leaves. He’s not only been great for Atlanta, but also the game of baseball. The game of baseball is going to miss him.”
(Thoughts about Tommy Hanson)
“This kid has the world in front of him, really. If everything stays on par and he pitches the way I think he can pitch, I think the Braves have a superstar.”
(on Heyward, who he will see for the first time during Tuesday’s first full-squad workout)
“I think he’s going to do well, but I don’t get excited until after I see them perform in the Major Leagues. Then I will try to put an opinion on what I think they can do.”
(when asked if he could take Billy Wagner deep)
“I think my deep days are over with. The only thing I can hit is a golf ball – all over the place.”
Tuesday’s workout: Balls will be flying tomorrow when the position players start taking their first rounds of batting practice on the field. It will be nice to see the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward take his swings.
But if you’re looking for raw power and you’re coming to camp tomorrow make sure you watch Cody Johnson take his BP cuts.
It’s too early to determine whether Johnson’s mighty swing will ever provide the consistency needed to make it to the Majors. But based on what I saw during Brian McCann’s charity softball tournament in November, it’s fun to watch the powerful kid launch balls into orbit.
Also check back in tomorrow morning to get an update on Jair Jurrjens, who is planning to begin his throwing program at some point this week.