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Jason Heyward snaps 31-game homerless streak

Aug 10, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Jason Heyward was naturally a popular topic of discussion throughout the SABR convention in Atlanta last week and the 20-year-old rookie snapped a 31-game homerless streak last night.
Heyward has come back down to earth considerably after posting a 1.000 OPS through mid-May, hitting just .250 with modest power since then while playing through and then spending time on the disabled list with a thumb injury.
His season totals no longer put him in company like Ted Williams, Mel Ott, Alex Rodriguez, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, and Mickey Mantle, but an .827 OPS is still pretty damn impressive for a 20-year-old and watching him in person twice at Turner Field while attending the convention it’s tough not to see Heyward developing into a superstar.
His rookie production has been great, he certainly looks the part, and he seems to do even little things well. It may sound silly, but I was impressed by Heyward setting up properly under a fly ball in the gap to fire a strike to the cutoff man and prevent a runner from tagging up. He’s not only supremely talented and a physical specimen, he’s smart and fundamentally sound.
Here’s where Heyward’s current adjusted OPS+ of 122 stacks up with the best 20-year-old hitters in baseball history who qualified for the batting title:

Ty Cobb            167          Frank Robinson     142
Mel Ott            165          Ken Griffey Jr.    135
Al Kaline          162          Sherry Magee       134
Mickey Mantle      162          Tony Conigliaro    133
Alex Rodriguez     160          Vada Pinson        128
Ted Williams       160          Orlando Cepeda     125
Rogers Hornsby     150          JASON HEYWARD      122
Jimmie Foxx        148          Stuffy McInnis     121
Dick Hoblitzell    143          Willie Mays        120

Being one of just 18 players in baseball history to finish their age-20 season with an OPS+ above 120 would be impressive enough, but I suspect Heyward’s numbers would look even better if not for slumping through the thumb problems.

  1. Bravos - Aug 10, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    By homering on his 21st birthday, J Hey joined the company of only Ted Williams, Frank Robinson and Alex Rodriguez. Not bad company to be in.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Heyward’s my hero…both him and Strasburg. Why even bother wasting time even playing? I say Major League Baseball just gives them $200 million each and puts them into the 2011 Hall of Fame class.

  3. Steve C - Aug 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Damn spitballs

  4. bigshotrob - Aug 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    I thought there was a rule where all good players are required to be traded to or signed by the Yankees?

  5. Kiwicricket - Aug 10, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Someone remind me what the exact point of this post was?

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