Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward thinks he’ll be the MVP of 2018

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward thinks he’ll be the MVP for the team in 2018. As much as I don’t want to, it’s sort of hard not to be rooting for him.

As the Chicago CubsJason Heyward was answering some questions, one of them left us scratching our heads. It wasn’t his answer that made us wonder, but how sure he was of it. “Who will be the Cubs MVP on 2018?” Heyward: “Me”

Now, it’s hard for me to picture this. Especially when Heyward has been a .243 hitter since coming to the Cubs. I do not doubt his ability to be a lockdown defender. He’s one of the best in the business, and often times makes it look so easy that you forget how difficult it is. But how does he expect to lead this team when he’s batting a hair over the Mendoza line?

Fantastic teammate

Here’s the thing. On the surface, Heyward seems like a stand-up type of guy. And his teammates love him. Take, for example, David Ross. Ross was a role model to Heyward, helping him in Atlanta in his rookie season. So how does Heyward repay him? He took some of that salary and paid for a suite for Ross on road trips to have his whole family with him. The gesture moved him to tears.

That’s wonderful. But during the playoff run and eventual World Series, Heyward found himself has one of the most expensive defensive replacements the game has ever seen. Still, when Game 7 went to extra innings, and the rain delayed the game? It was Heyward who called the team into the weight room and gave a speech that rallied the Cubs. Could they have won without that speech? Maybe. But we know that when he did give it, they won.

Not a fan of “the speech”?

So maybe you aren’t a fan of the speech and think Heyward is given too much credit for the World Series win. But don’t tell ANY of the Cubs that, because they’ve got Heyward’s back on this.

"“Who’s you’re favorite teammate of all-time at any level?” Ben Zobrist: “Jason Heyward”"

And for a guy that’s been around for as long as Zobrist (12 years), that’s saying something. So why do I feel the same way as the Cubs do about Heyward? Maybe because I was at “the Heyward game” in 2016. I know, when you can name a game for someone with only three hits? Ugh. But still, it was exciting to see how excited he was after that win. I thought, “This is it. This is where he turns it around”. But that wasn’t the case, nor was last season. But I still want to pull for Heyward, and I will in ’18.

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Often, we’ve had players that were tremendous athletes but terrible teammates. Looking at you Sammy Sosa. And in this case, we have one that has the talent–but hasn’t been able to put it all together. But he’s been a fantastic teammate, and somehow that has overshadowed his poor performance at the plate.

So I’m all in on Heyward for MVP. I hope he surprises us all and can pull it off. In his first year with Chili Davis, he’s focusing on his approach and not his swing. So maybe that’s all he needs. Someone to get in his head and help him cast away the doubt and dread and be the player he’s capable of being.