|Current Team:||Chicago Cubs|
|Birth Day:||August 9, 1989|
|Birth Place:||Ridgewood, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He was drafted 14th overall in 2007 after graduating from Henry County High School.
Jason Heyward plays for the team Chicago Cubs
|#1||Jason Heyward||33||$50 Million||$26 Million||United States|
|#2||Kyle Schwarber||29||N/A||N/A||United States|
|#3||Kris Bryant||30||$8 Million||N/A||United States|
|#5||Jon Lester||38||$50 Million||$25 Million||United States|
|#6||Javier Baez||30||N/A||5.2 million USD (2019)||United States|
|#7||Craig Kimbrel||34||N/A||11 million USD (2016)||United States|
|#8||Anthony Rizzo||33||$27 Million||N/A||United States|
|#9||Albert Almora Jr.||28||N/A||N/A||United States|
|#11||Yu Darvish||36||$23 Million||N/A||Japan|
|#12||Daniel Descalso||36||N/A||N/A||United States|
|#13||Kyle Hendricks||33||N/A||N/A||United States|
|#14||Colin Rea||32||N/A||N/A||United States|
|#15||Brandon Morrow||38||N/A||507,500 USD (2016)||United States|
The son of Dartmouth graduates, Jason Heyward was born on August 9, 1989, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His father, Eugene, is from Beaufort, South Carolina, and mother, Laura, is from New York City; they met at Dartmouth. Eugene played basketball and majored in engineering and Laura studied French. Eugene's uncle, Kenny Washington, played basketball for two John Wooden-led NCAA championship UCLA teams in 1964 and 1965. Jason has one younger brother, Jacob (b. 1995), who attended the University of Miami and played baseball for the Hurricanes. Jacob was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2016 and has played in the minors since.
Numerous colleges showed interest and recruited Heyward, including UCLA, which offered a full-ride scholarship due in part to the family connection. Heyward was also especially interested in Clemson and Georgia Tech. Concurrently, the hometown Atlanta Braves had followed and scouted him for years, while attempting to conceal their excitement. They made him the 14th overall selection in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. Despite signing a National Letter of Intent with UCLA, Heyward chose professional baseball over college and signed a contract with them worth $1.7 million – $170,000 more than MLB's slot recommendation of $1.53 million on the following August 12. It was the same as the 2006 14th-slot amount that the Toronto Blue Jays gave Travis Snider.
At age 17, Heyward started his professional career in Minor League Baseball in the Braves' system. He played for both the Gulf Coast League Braves and the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League in 2007. He homered in his first professional game. In 12 minor league contests in 2007, he batted .302 with one home run and six runs batted in (RBIs). He split the next season with Class-A Rome of the South Atlantic League (SAL) and Advanced-A Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League.
Heyward's second MLB season commenced in a fashion that reprised the high expectations from his rookie season, but injuries ultimately factored into a lengthy and dramatic slump. In the spring, he was diagnosed with a degenerative condition in his lower back. Like his first MLB at-bat, he began with a home run in his first at-bat of the season on March 31, of Nationals pitcher Liván Hernández. He became just the second player, after Kazuo Matsui, to homer in his first major league at-bat on opening day, and do the same the following year. Since being drafted in 2007, it was also the third time Heyward homered in his first game of the season.
Starting 2009 at Myrtle Beach, Heyward then gained successive promotions to Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett that year. He reached base in 42 of 49 contests at Myrtle Beach and assembled 16 multi-hit contests. He was the Carolina League Player of the Week on May 18 after garnering six hits in 23 at-bats (.261), with three HR and five RBI. In late May, he endured an oblique injury, which caused him to miss several games. He was a selection to the Carolina League All-Star team but missed the game due to the oblique injury. He participated in the All-Star Futures Game at Busch Stadium, where he collected one hit in two at-bats. He carried a nine-game hitting streak through July 4.
Over three levels in 99 games, he batted .323 with 17 HR and 10 steals, including high numbers in OBP (.408), slugging percentage (SLG, .555), and OPS (.963), while scoring 69 runs and driving in 63 runs. He ranked in the top ten in the organization in many offensive categories including second in runs, third in average, HR and OPS, sixth in hits (117) and RBI and tied for seventh in doubles (25). He displayed consistent hitting ability against both RHP and LHP. In 2009, Heyward hit .339 in 112 AB against LHP and .316 against RHP. In his minor league career through 2009, he had batted .335 with six HR against LHP and .313 with 23 HR against RHP.
While his father emphasized that working hard and approaching the game with discipline were important, he also stressed that baseball was to be, above all else, fun. Heyward has maintained this same approach throughout his youth and professional career. One tournament in which he played was the renowned East Cobb Baseball program, where he was a standout and has produced other major league players. Heyward attended Henry County High School in McDonough near Atlanta. Heyward briefly played basketball in his youth but concentrated exclusively on baseball in high school at his father's urging. In February 2010, an Associated Press reporter learned from a varsity coach that Heyward's early batting practice exploits proved fatal to an oak tree in deep center field at the high school playing field.
After a rapid ascent through the minor leagues, the Braves invited Heyward to spring training in March 2010. There, his hitting continued to draw notice, as he routinely hit "rockets" all over the field and over the fences, compelling manager Bobby Cox to make him a regular in the lineup. He mentioned that he heard the balls hit off Heyward's bat made a different, more pronounced sound. Reggie Jackson, a New York Yankees special assistant, concurred, characterizing that sound as "stereo," while everyone else was "in AM." Heyward hit two notable batting practice home runs at the Champion Stadium training complex in the Lake Buena Vista, Florida. One damaged a Coca-Cola truck in the parking lot, and another broke the sunroof of Atlanta Braves' assistant general manager Bruce Manno's car. He was initially issued uniform number 71. At the end of spring training, he asked the team for and received number 22. He presented one of his jerseys with the number 22 to Ruston to show that he honored her son, which elicited an emotional reaction from her.
However, an injury contributed to lost power in 2011. Before that point, Heyward dropped his hands after the start of the swing and rotated his front shoulder in an upward motion in his mode as a pull hitter. Normally, the front half of his upper body generates bat velocity. During the time the injury had not properly healed, it hindered his ability to generate torque from his front shoulder that contributed most to driving the ball.
In September 2012, Piedmont Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, Georgia, selected Heyward as one of ten representatives for their Real Men Wear Pink campaign against breast cancer. He stated at the time one of his grandmothers was battling the condition but had improved, and that her battle was an inspiration for him to participate.
On January 18, 2013, the Braves avoided arbitration with Heyward in his first time eligible, agreeing on a one-year, $3.65 million deal. He was counted on as a component in the outfield including newly acquired brothers Justin and B. J. Upton, with whom he would play until being traded after the 2014 season. An appendectomy on April 22 led him to being placed on the 15-day disabled list. In his first 31 games of the season, he batted .142 (15-for-106) with two home runs and eight RBI. He returned from the appendectomy on May 17, going 2-for-4 in an 8–5 win against the Dodgers. His first multi-HR game of the season came against San Diego on June 10.
Heyward's brother, Jacob, is an outfielder in the San Francisco Giants organization. Jacob Heyward was drafted by the Braves out of high school in the 2013 MLB Draft and the San Francisco Giants in the 2016 MLB Draft.
The Braves bought out Heyward's last arbitration-eligible years on February 4, 2014, agreeing on a two-year, $13.3 million contract. Already rated one of the top defensive outfielders in the league, his coverage in right field significantly improved, demonstrated through an increased defensive runs saved (DRS) total. Through May 19, he registered 16 DRS, matching three of his previous four entire season totals. Inside Edge (IE) charted that of all batted balls hit to him, Heyward had missed a total of nine in 358 innings; all nine were rated as having a 10% or lower chance of being caught. Two catches in motion off the bat of Mike Trout – one tumbling on a sinking line drive and one sprinting and leaping at the warning track – helped ensure a 7–3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 15. Heyward also added a home run.
On November 17, 2014, the Braves traded Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals along with pitcher Jordan Walden for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to replace their former right fielder and top prospect Oscar Taveras, who died in a car accident a month earlier. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who wore uniform #22 and had also done so for most of his playing career, gave his number to Heyward. Heyward wears this number to honor his friend Andrew Wilmot. After the trade was announced, Heyward published a Twitter message thanking the Atlanta Braves organization and fans for their support.
"The ball he hits well is the ball out away from him," according to the same scout. "If pitchers pitch around him, on the outer half, he'll crush it. ... That's why Niese hit him: He went up and in, and Heyward's a diver." Indeed, charts from STATS LLC depicting Heyward's "Hot Zones," or a hitter's zones of maximum effectiveness, corroborate the scout's findings. Through April 25, 2014, Heyward had swung at 22 of 55 pitches in 2014 that qualified as "up and in," crossing the plate either to the upper left ninth of the strike zone or slightly higher or inside of it. None of those 22 swings had produced a hit.
Despite not reaching his offensive projections, his defense has delivered as promised. Heyward has been rated as one of the top right fielders, if not the top right fielder, in MLB. The Fielding Bible staff has said that he "is the best defensive right fielder in baseball, bar none." He is an expert at instantly picking up and reacting to the path of the batted ball and following it with efficient routes. Such defensive ability was demonstrated on a fly ball off Justin Turner's bat during the 2013 season. The same play was part of a demonstration in 2014 of Major League Baseball Advanced Media's Statcast system, a hybrid of PITCHf/x, FIELDf/x, and a radar-based play tracking. Statcast analyzed that Heyward got a jump off the fly ball the bat in ⁄100 second, ran at 18.5 miles per hour (29.8 km/h) and took a route with a 97% efficiency. The ball had 4.0 seconds of hang time and he ran 80.9 feet (24.7 m) for the catch.
In the rating of three zones to where the ball is hit in the right field in his first five seasons, he was above average at saving bases on shallow-hit (+31) and medium-hit (+40) balls. His greatest strength came with deep-hit balls (+140). In 2014 alone, he saved +40 bases on balls hit to the deepest part of right field, which was the equivalent of 20 doubles. The enormous ground coverage makes up for what would be considered a slightly below-average arm among right fielders. Commented Fielding Bible founder John Dewan, "Heyward has been able to accomplish this (winning the Fielding Bible Award) by starting and finishing every play extremely well. He excels at picking up the ball off the bat and rarely takes the wrong angle. He is not afraid to dive, demonstrating tremendous body control when doing so."
Five years to the day of his MLB debut, Heyward appeared in his first game as a Cardinal against the Chicago Cubs on April 5, 2015. He garnered three hits, including two doubles and a stolen base in a 3–0 victory. His first home run as a Cardinals player was on April 18 against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium with a 5–2 win. After uncharacteristic errors in both of the two previous games, his ninth-inning home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 27 tied the game 3–3, and the Cardinals eventually won with a score of 4–3. He homered in three straight games June 22–24, including successive contests against the Marlins from June 23–24 as St. Louis won both times. On July 18 against the Mets, he matched a career high with five hits in a 12–2 win.
On December 15, 2015, Heyward signed an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs. One of his first acts after signing his contract was to pay for hotel suites large enough to accommodate teammate David Ross, his wife, and their three young children on all of the Cubs' road trips during the 2016 season. Ross, set to retire after the 2016 season, had been Heyward's teammate during his first three seasons in Atlanta, and Heyward considered him a key mentor in his early MLB career. In an interview with the Bleacher Report website, Heyward said,
Heyward struggled in his first season with the Cubs in 2016, batting only .230 with 7 HRs and 49 RBIs, while leading the majors in percentage of soft-hit batted balls (27.1%), though he would win his 4th Gold Glove award that season.
On October 25, 2016, Heyward, along with teammates Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, and Carl Edwards Jr., became the first African-Americans to play for the Cubs in a World Series game. Heyward was credited with leading an inspiring players-only meeting during a 17-minute rain delay near the end of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. The Cubs eventually won the game 8-7 after 10 innings, and gave them their first World Series championship in 108 years. On November 9, Heyward became the first position player in Major League Baseball history to win three straight Gold Glove Awards with three different teams (Braves, Cardinals, and Cubs).
On May 8, 2017, Heyward went on the 10-day disabled list due to a sprained finger he suffered in a game against the Yankees three days prior. In late June, Heyward suffered a left-hand laceration while catching a foul ball in Pittsburgh and was unavailable to play in the next series of games. In 55 of the first 67 games of the 2017 season, Heyward had improved his statistics from the prior year with a batting average of .258, a .315 OBP and .399 SLG. He was third on the team with 29 RBIs and third with 84 total bases. He was placed on the disabled list a month later with a hand injury.
On May 8, 2018, Heyward again went on the disabled list due to concussion protocol after attempting a game-saving catch of a Dexter Fowler 14th inning home run. On June 6 Jason Heyward hit a walk-off grand slam home run with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to give the Cubs a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. At the All-Star break Heyward's stats for the year showed continuing improvement over his previous time with the Cubs. He had a .285 batting average with 78 hits in 274 plate appearances with 6 home runs and 41 RBIs, a .344 OBP and a .431 SLG.
Currently, Jason Heyward is 33 years, 10 months and 1 days old. Jason Heyward will celebrate 34th birthday on a Wednesday 9th of August 2023.
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