Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 3, 2011
BASEBALL: Don't Panic

Jason Heyward, battling injuries, has batted .203/.294/.332 since May 1.

The lesson, as always, is that even the most talented young players shouldn't be expected to be team-carrying superstars right out of the gate. Some are; but many others go through an adjustment period sooner or later, especially if they have a few injuries to throw them off.

Heyward's career line now stands at .258/.366/.435 (119 OPS+), partly through his second, age 21 season. A few comps, including some that should be very familiar to Braves fans:

Ken Griffey jr: .284/.350/.454 (OPS+ 123) through two seasons, age 19-20.

Andruw Jones: .251/.319/.472 (OPS+ 104) through two-plus seasons, age 19-21.

Carlos Beltran: .276/.327/.425 (OPS+ 88) through two-plus seasons, age 21-23.

Jermaine Dye: .252/.287/.394 (OPS+ 75) through three incomplete seasons, age 22-24.

Ron Gant: .236/.290/.404 (OPS+ 93) through two-plus seasons, age 22-24.

And of course, there's no particular reason to think a guy with Heyward's talent won't have a big September this season, either.

He's no MVP, at this stage of his career. But he may still be one, not far in the future.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:34 AM | Baseball 2011 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

You are so right about trying not to panic about Heyward at this point in his career. It is a long season and young players always go through an adjustment period. Some of the best players ever took several years to reach their peak. Patience is a virtue - particularly for baseball fans!

Posted by: David at August 10, 2011 3:11 PM
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