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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Jason Heyward is a Superstar Again

Heyward’s change in batted-ball events has resulted in his breakout this season. If there was a swing or approach change that has caused this to happen intentionally, then I believe there is good reason to expect Heyward to continue hitting at an above-average level. Another thing to note is that Heyward is pulling the ball more this season than he ever has in his career (47.3% vs. 41% career). He is also pulling the ball 10.7% more often than the MLB average (36.6%), and he has seen a dramatic drop in his opposite-field percent which has gone from a career 23% (25% is MLB average) down to 16.1%.

I believe there is a good chance Heyward has decided to try and pull the ball and focus less on hitting the ball the other way. This change has worked wonders for Heyward, and I hope it is intentional because this new and improved version of Heyward is much more fun than the league average hitter he has been in previous years. I believe there is a real chance Heyward could transform from a glove-only player into a much more well-rounded player. His impact on the 2020 Cubs has been critical to their success as a team and moving forward he might make the Cubs fans who would wish they could take his contract back regret their words.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 01:37 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jason heyward

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   1. Sweatpants Posted: September 17, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5977267)
"Again"?
Joseph is an Analytics and Economics student at Marquette University graduating in 2021. He's been an Angels fan since the days of Vlad Sr. and is looking to present complex analytical concepts in a digestible manner.
Since the days of Vlad Sr.
Man, that made me feel old. Not that Guerrero has a son who's playing, but that someone would cite his stint with the Angels as a far-away point in time to show just how long they've been a fan.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5977273)
moving forward he might make the Cubs fans who would wish they could take his contract back regret their words.
Whoah, whoah. Easy there, kid.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5977276)
I would say almost anyone can hit almost anything in 150 PA.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5977280)

I would say almost anyone can hit almost anything in 150 PA.


Among the top 50 hitters by wRC+ this year: Teoscar Hernandez, Jeimer Candelario, Donovan Solano, Adam Duvall, and Anthony Santander.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5977281)
I would say almost anyone can hit almost anything in 150 PA.


Heyward has a .927 ops after 132 pa this season (to be more accurate he has .287/.411/.516/.927 this season, with 6hrs) Last season from May 23rd until June 30th... Heyward had 132 pa with a slash line of .314/.386/.576/.963 and 8 hr.

I would say that this 132 pa stretch is not something unusual for him... so yes, of course you are correct, almost any professional ball player, including Heyward himself, could do this over a 132 pa stretch.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5977282)
Jason Heyward's middle name is Alias
   7. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: September 17, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5977287)
Haven't read the article, and you guys hit on the easy stuff...

...but I think his defense has been declining some. Which is natural, due to age. If he was hitting this well in full seasons *and* putting up the absurb defensive numbers from earlier in his career, then yes, he'd be a stat superstar. And as for this partial year somehow justifying his contract that was underwater in the years when it was supposed to be most valuable, I say "oh come on".
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 17, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5977300)
His impact on the 2020 Cubs has been critical to their success as a team and moving forward he might make the Cubs fans who would wish they could take his contract back regret their words.
Better extend him now, before his continued ‘Superstar’ status drives up the price for his services beyond 2023.
   9. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: September 17, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5977313)
I remember in his times with the Braves how frustrating he would be. He was an all around much better player then, but he would get into slumps pretty regularly. You could see the pattern just over and over.

1 he gets pull happy and rolls over everything for weak grounders.

2 he starts slapping the opposite way to get out of it, his average goes up a bit but he has no power

3 he starts hitting the ball up the middle. Average and power go up a bit but still not great

4 he hits a groove. He pulls for power and can cover the outside of the plate, this is the version were you could see the potential for a 150+ wRC+ season.

5 he starts getting pull happy and it all repeats.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: September 17, 2020 at 05:57 PM (#5977325)
I was hoping nobody would notice. And an article on ... pitcherlist.com?? ... wasn't gonna jinx him. But no, Retro had to find an article on ... pitcherlist.com?? ... and post it here. Great.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 17, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5977328)
His K to BB was 110 to 68 last year.

This year it is 29 to 26.

   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 18, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5977445)
I think real improvement started last year as he traded strikeouts for more power. While his hitting in 2019 was only a modest improvement in overall performance I think it set him on the right path. He wasn't punishing bad pitches and so pitchers attacked him, neutralizing his batting eye and patience.
   13. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 18, 2020 at 06:28 PM (#5977551)
i'm sure this has been discussed before, but vlad guerrero jr has a great ass.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2020 at 06:22 AM (#5977650)
But just a 103 OPS+. Still just 21 but we await the awesome hitter.

While I've got the Jays page open ... early in his career, I saw some Lourdes Gurriel Jr (who knows why) and thought "I like that kid's bat." He immmediately started to stink and got sent down. When he came back in mid-2018, he hit 305/335/480 which is pretty good.

He then got off to an atrocious start in 2019 and (I assume) got sent down again. When he got called back, he hit 292/339/580 which is just plain good.

He then got off to a terrible start in the first month. But in the last month he has hit 359/417/699 which is nothing to be ashamed of.
   15. Tin Angel Posted: September 19, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5977684)
I know I can't walk a block here in California without hearing people loudly exclaiming what a superstar Jason Heyward is again.

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