If the Cubs are going to contend next year, Jason He yward has to keep evolving.
With everything going on both on and off the diamond this year, it was pretty easy to overlook certain performances and aspects of the game. Sure, we all remember Alec Mills‘ no-hitter and the Cubs winning the National League Central. Few will overlook the offensive struggles of guys like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, either.
But one guy who really stepped up this season and never seems to get his fair due? Veteran outfielder Jason Heyward. Shortly after Chicago made its early postseason exit, I pointed out how critical the five-time Gold Glove outfielder’s showing was this year for the team.
As big as he was for the 2020 Cubs – he may be tasked with taking on an even larger role for the team next year. Of course, the Cubs non-tendered two of his fellow outfielders this week in Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber – evidence that a major roster overhaul is in the works.
Next year marks Heyward’s sixth season on the North Side. It’s gone by quickly, to say the least, and, as we all know, the road has been filled with highs and lows along the way. From cementing his place in Cubs lore with a rain delay speech to a long-awaited offensive breakout, there’s been a little bit of everything in this tale.