SportsNation Blog Archives Jason Heyward
2. Would you leave off Posey or Heyward?
We're generally not fans of mindless orthodoxy around here, but sometimes, you can think a little bit too far outside the box. For example: the writers who either voted for Gaby Sanchez as their NL Rookie of the Year, or left Jason Heyward or Buster Posey off entirely. Could you see yourselves doing the same thing, SportsNation? Assuming you had a ballot. Which you don't. Probably.
Maybe this is the "Year of the Pitcher" in Major League Baseball, but this week has offered its fair share of evidence pointing to another theme. At least until the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt, the week's bggest pitching story was Stephen Strasburg's trip to the DL. The big Phillies news prior to the trade might have been Domonic Brown hitting a home run in his first game -- the same night Atlanta's Jason Heyward stole home against the Nationals.
Could this actually be the Year of the Rookie?
John Wall's performance in NBA summer ball receives detailed analysis. Sam Bradford's contract talks with the Rams is the subject of daily updates. Neftali Feliz's progress? Well, he probably has more name recognition in Dallas than Cowboys fifth-round pick DeAngelo Smith. Maybe. Actually, don't quote us on that.
Most of the time, even the best baseball rookies are hardly household names right away. In some cases (Jerome Walton, Marty Cordova and Bobby Crosby spring to mind), they stay that way even after winning Rookie of the Year. But as the news of the week suggests, and Jayson Stark pointed out in a recent chat, this year's class has a chance to be different.
Does Posey have a chance at the ROY? Has his power surprised you this early in his career?
Absolutely. Buster Posey is the real deal. In my midseason awards column, I gave Jaime Garcia the midseason ROY award. But a lot can change in the second half, with Jason Heyward coming back, Stephen Strasburg going out there every five days, Posey raking and one of the great rookie classes of recent times. If I were Jaime, I don't think I'd reserve a spot on my shelf for that trophy just yet. Full July 9 transcript
What was/is/will be your typical Sunday at 20 years old?
Pick up two hits and drive in three runs in an MLB game? (Granted, an MLB game in which someone named Bud Norris pitched.) Play 41 minutes on the road in the decisive game of a playoff series in the NBA? Drive 120 mph in traffic without incurring the wrath of the state police and beat Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line?
Let's just say Jason Heyward, Brandon Jennings and Joey Logano, respectively, aren't your typical 20-year-old slackers. But Sunday, they also weren't nearly the most impressive members of their demographic in professional sports. That honor goes to Rory McIlroy, who despite not being able to celebrate with a beer unless he waits a couple of days or makes a quick trip back to his native Northern Ireland, shot a 10-under 62 to fend off Phil Mickelson in the final round at Quail Hollow. And don't even get us started on 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa shooting a 58 to win an event in Japan ... darn overachievers.
But does putting together one of the more memorable weekend performances in recent times, and doing it against Mickelson, make McIlroy as much of a household name as the likes of Heyward or Jennings? Vote!
I don't think Rory's a fluke, he'll have plenty more wins soon enough. Out of all the young "flash in a pans", he's always struck me as the most likely to mature into a consistent winner. Him and Anthony Kim. Not that this makes me some kind of fortune teller, it's a pretty common opinion from what I've seed/read.” -- CaptainTr1pps
Give credit where it's due. [Ishikawa] hits a 58, and only because he missed a birdie putt on the last hole. That's just sick. The only way anyone on this thread could do this is with a PS3 or Xbox 360. With mulligans.” -- broadway_joe_99
Jason Heyward is 20 years old, 6-foot-4, about 220 pounds, and the new starting right fielder for the Atlanta Braves. He's been compared to all sorts of legendary players, as his torrid spring and advanced plate approach have won him thousands of fans. Let's be realistic, though; he may look and act older than his age, but he's still only 20. Are the Braves making the right decision in giving him so much responsibility this early on?