Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward
It’s been an interesting ride for Jason Heyward. His first two seasons were disappointing, but his Game 7 speech in the 2016 World Series will be talked about for centuries among Cubs fans. Last season, Heyward stepped up his game of offense–but didn’t win the Gold Glove for right fielders. It was a weird season. And this one is off to a similar start.
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Heyward has uncharacteristically made several errors in the outfield you wouldn’t normally see him make. But at the plate he’s been the Heyward they paid all that free agent money for.
Heyward is hitting for power, he’s stealing bases, and an on-base of .419, which would by far be the highest of his career. Of course, it’s early. And these numbers won’t keep. But it’s been a preferable start compared to most.
His Achilles heel has been double plays. He’s grounded into five in just seven games. But again, these numbers aren’t sustainable. That pace won’t continue, but he grounded into only seven all of last season. But his overall slash of .370/.419/.704 and an OPS of 1.123 with three home runs and eight RBI helps to overlook that.
There are a lot of Heyward haters out there, and it will always be that way because of the contract he signed. That’s not his fault. But his improved play to start the season has been a big help for the Cubs as they try to sort things out.