Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – A dented Coca-Cola truck and a smashed sunroof on a team executive’s car. The carnage from Braves prospect Jason Heyward’s first rounds of batting practice Tuesday.
“He’s strong as an ox,” hitting coach Terry Pendleton said of the 6-foot-5, 245-pound rookie right fielder.
“Every ball was just scalded,” said manager Bobby Cox, who compared the sound of the ball off Heyward’s bat to when Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle took batting practice.
The Coke truck was rolling past the right-center field fence at Champion Stadium when Heyward hit a screamer towards the gap. The ball kept rising, the seemed to hone in on its target, smashing into it with the sound like a brick against a garage door.
A few swings later, the same truck was parked in a lot behind the right-field fence. Heyward, 20, hit a ball completely over it, smashing the sunroof of assistant general manager Bruce Manno’s car.
“I have a big frame, I guess that’s where some of that comes from,”