Posted: 6:24 pm Saturday, March 8th, 2014

J-Hey on a roll, J-Up joins the fun 

By David O'Brien

 

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1496419233001?bctid=3314224217001

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With three more hits Saturday, Braves right fielder Jason Heyward has hits in five consecutive plate appearances and six of his past seven. That included a home run Friday against the Red Sox, the second of the spring for the majors’ largest leadoff man.

“Timing’s been good,” Heyward said of his recent success at the plate, which has raised his average to .348 (8-for-23) and his OPS to nearly 1.000 in an admittedly small sample size.

“That’s all you can do is try to be on time, try to get good pitches to hit, put them in play,” said Heyward, who is approaching spring games just as he would regular-season games. “Try to take the spring-training feel out of it, go up there with the mindset that I have to get it done. Put the ball in play and good things will happen. Get on base and have an opportunity to run the bases.”

He was driven in twice Saturday by Justin Upton, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and might’ve had a 3-for-3, five-RBI game if not for a difficult running catch in the left-center gap by Marlins left fielder Brian Bogusevic with two on and two out in the second inning of a game that ended in a 6-all tie.

Upton was 2-for-12 for the spring before Saturday, when he did some extra work with hitting coach Greg Walker in the morning and found something that clicked in his approach at the plate.

With Heyward leading off of third base in the first inning, Upton nearly hit him in the leg with a fouled line drive that Heyward leaped out of the way to avoid. Heyward laughed it off, but then lined up about six feet outside the line for next pitch. Upton then hit an opposite-field double the other way to the right-field corner to score him for a 1-0 lead.

“He said he was feeling good all day, and I said, I can’t wait to see you in the game,” Heyward said. He smiled and added, “I didn’t want to see it that close, though.”

5 comments
WolfLink22
WolfLink22

I would have to say extend his 2 year deal after Spring Training if he proves to be healthy. Because he had one surgery he could not avoid and then the freak injury too. But at least he has the chance to prove everyone who doubts him wrong too.

Teddy_B
Teddy_B

What a beast, J-Hey is my absolute #1 favorite player to watch. Nobody brings the excitement in the modern MLB like this guy and we are VERY fortunate to have him on our team. That being said, I think its about time we signed him to a long term deal. Enough playing around with it, outside of J-Hey we don't have a real leadoff hitter. Heck he isn't even a prototypical leadoff guy, but he is so talented he can hit anywhere in the order. Guys like that are few and far between.


I think he's finally over the injury bug, and he will be healthy for a good long time if everything goes right.


Pay the man, Wren! If we don't do a deal soon, I fully expect him to be on the Red Sox or Yankees in a couple years and if I had to follow one of those teams who buy their way into the playoffs constantly I would be very upset because I like my Braves.

lap80
lap80

He really is...I hope he can stay injury-free for a while, so we can sign him to a longer deal. 

AtlFalconsRule
AtlFalconsRule

Heyward is a beast of a lead off hitter!!!!!!!!!!!!