Stacy #121, You have to realize that playing a 3 hour game where you have to maybe field 4 or 5 balls on defense and then having to run to first base maybe 2 or 3 times a game is very tiring. It is particularly hard for the guys who were on the town the night before. The pay is terrible too so don’t you think it is asking a lot for a player to keep his head in the game and hustle at all times?
Heyward’s batting average dip is primarily caused by a drop in his BABIP from .335 to .247, suggesting that when he hits the ball into play, some combination of bad luck and less-solid contact (relative to last year) is causing fewer balls to drop in for hits.
Meanwhile, his on-base skills have further diminished due to a 4% decrease in his walk rate (a .040 difference in OBP), which is caused by a more aggressive approach at the plate – Heyward is swinging at more pitches both inside and outside the strike zone and missing more often. The fact that this decrease corresponds with a team-wide decrease in on-base percentage suggests that the problem may lie with the coaching staff, not the player himself.
Fortunately, luck tends to regress back to the mean, and some of Heyward’s other peripherals show promise, including his power and strike-out numbers. While Heyward is having some troubles this year, it’s far too early to give up on him.
A buddy sent me an email about Jason Heyward. Thought it was worth a read:
“I guess it’s just the curse of the ultra-talented. Average fans don’t understand how hard baseball is, how easy it is to fail, the thinness of the line that separates it from success — and how other-end-of the-bell-curve it is that he’s up and productive at all at his age. And it’s so easy for even the educated follower to forget how erosive injuries can be. A hitter’s margin of error is sooooo small — a tweaked quad, a honkin’ elbow, a weak ankle, a compensatory move here, a 2% reduction in bat speed there, an angry girlfriend and I don’t know how they ever hit the ball at all, ever, even healthy, happy, on steroids and 5 Hour Energy, which is God’s Juice of Love for us. I mean it. Hitting a hard-thrown baseball is scary as hell and really really really hard. (I just inserted third “really” there on the re-read, so you’d know I meant it.) And with movement and deception and changing speeds.”
I know that some of you don’t care for him, but, Frenchie is having a very decent year. .271, 14, 63. .327 vs lefties and .321 late/close. Could someone remind me of what we got for him? He could play on my team.
Yunel Escobar trade definitely will go down as one of the worst in Braves history. An issue of not understanding someone is not a reason to trade him. This guy will be an All Star next year. It’s not everyday you come across a young shortstop who hits for average and get on base.
Another note—- we need to get Prado going. Just saw his average was .271. The infield hit is a good start.