Heyward impresses with quick adjustment

San Francisco — After looking overmatched against Giants pitchers on Friday, rookie sensation Jason Heyward looked, well, sensational against San Francisco on Saturday.

The right fielder went 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBIs and his second home run, and in all three Braves wins he’s had an extra-base hit (two homers, one double) to either tie or give the Braves a lead.

Heyward hit an opposite-field single off left-handed reliever Dan Runzier (who struck him out Friday), and he scorched an opposite-field homer in the sixth inning to begin the Braves’ late-innings scoring flurry in Saturday’s 7-2 win.

“That was the approach [Saturday, take what they gave me," said Heyward, who struck out four times Friday while chasing breaking balls in the dirt and other outside pitches. "Work on hitting the ball that way [to left], if that’s where they’re going to put it.”

He reached base in all five plate appearances Saturday, after going 0-for-5 Friday.

“He showed me something — the ability to make an adjustment in one day,” Giants left fielder Mark DeRosa said. “He’s going to have to prove to people that he can hit the ball the other way and handle off-speed stuff.

“Coming off the first game, to make that adjustment last night, to hit a laser beam out the other way, take his two walks, take a lefty the other way — you don’t do that at 20 years old.”

Of course, Heyward is no ordinary 20-year-old. He entered Sunday with a .300 average and .391 on-base percentage, and led major league rookies with two homers and seven RBIs. He was 4-for-6 with runners in scoring postion, twice as many hits as any other Brave had in those situations.

Heyward also showed impressive speed for someone 6 feet 5 and 245-pounds, gliding around the bases to score from first on Eric Hinske’s ninth-inning double Saturday.

“I told him, 20-year-old kid that can run and score from first on a double, I like that,” Hinske said, smiling.

Heyward endured an 0-for-11, seven-strikeout skid before Saturday, but manager Bobby Cox was never concerned and knew there would be ups and downs for a player with no prior big-league experience.

“He’s a young kid, 20 years old, and you can’t expect miracles every time,” Cox said. “He’s going to have his days when he looks like a normal guy, but he’s going to have a lot of great days ahead of him.”

After Heyward’s four-strikeout game, third baseman Chipper Jones said Braves veterans didn’t pull him aside to offer tips or advice on how to get out of his funk. They didn’t need to, Jones said.

“Just because he struck out doesn’t mean his approach has to change drastically,” he said. “Maybe the fact that he struck out four times was because of his aggressiveness; there’s a fine line there.

“But while we might be able to offer him some tidbits, I feel like he can make adjustments on his own. He’s supremely confident in his ability to make adjustments. He’s his best hitting coach.”

25 comments Add your comment

Who KNew

April 11th, 2010
5:52 pm

Who KNew

April 11th, 2010
5:52 pm

woOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….whens the game starting?

Roy Hobbs

April 11th, 2010
5:55 pm

Shouldnt the pitching coach be the one offering advice after a 4 K game.


April 11th, 2010
6:02 pm

status of game????


April 11th, 2010
6:03 pm

fourth is always the best


April 11th, 2010
6:03 pm

congrats roy lol


April 11th, 2010
6:04 pm


April 11th, 2010
6:07 pm

I was impressed when I sat in my porch, wished for a great sunset and held my Heywood picture oh so tight and WALLA!….sunset!

Joe Cool

April 11th, 2010
6:09 pm

Hey DOB, see if you can get those dudes from the Chronicle to write some more articles about Heyward getting dominated by San Fran pitching. I guess that the bent of articles the rest of the season in opposing cities is going to be about Heyward, as every article in the Chronicle has been this weekend.

Have you asked Bobby about Hinske getting some of Glaus’s AB’s? I was totally relieved that Glaus got hit last night in the critical 7th inning AB. No doubt he would have hit into a DP there if given the chance. Hinske rips the ball nearly every AB.


April 11th, 2010
6:12 pm

what is the status…. supposed to be some kinda update at 6pm according to the radio guys


April 11th, 2010
6:32 pm

Are we playing ball today?

P-Town Brave

April 11th, 2010
7:15 pm

So does anyone have a grasp on this ?

Will the game not be shown now that it’s going to be a start that is after the ESPN start of their Sunday night game?


April 11th, 2010
8:08 pm

My MLB package is showing warmup, so looks like it’ll be on. Yay!


April 11th, 2010
8:45 pm

The game is on. Braves up 2-0

Ga in Hi

April 11th, 2010
11:08 pm

Braves lost but THE KID hit another dinger in the ninth


April 11th, 2010
11:09 pm

Enter you comments here.


April 12th, 2010
12:47 am

Did you see his look in the dugout after the homerun. It was very mature. “Guys, thanks for the high fives but we are about to lose.” He was aware of the scoreboard and not the home run distance. Very mature for 20 years old. He showed a lot of moxy in just the first week.


April 12th, 2010
4:09 am

At this rate, JHey will finish the season with 81 HRs, 216 RBIs and 243 Ks, all records!

It’s be a g-r-e-a-t season for him if his totals were half those!


April 12th, 2010
12:16 pm

You rock, JHey!
I think he’ll finish with at least 20 HR if not more. Hopefully more!

oh bull

April 12th, 2010
1:41 pm

Its a shame to have a player like Heyward in the field and then put a player like Chipper in the lineup to take the team under. Its time to put Chipper on the DL and move Glaus to 3rd and put Freeman at 1st. Maybe then we might have a shot but they need a really good 3rd baseman ready to go or another 2nd baseman and put Prado on 3rd when both Glaus and Chipper cant play because they are past their prime and have stayed to long at the party.

How long will braves fans take the fact that Chipper is hurting this team. He has for a few years now. You bring in the young but keep the ones that hurt you the most. The ones that make millions but sit on the bench most of the year. I call foul here.

Chipper —-RETIRE ALREADY. Your done…………………….

in the dark

April 12th, 2010
2:12 pm

oh bull…You’re……….a dummy. didn’t chipper hit 2 run home run to beat the cubs? how did that hurt the team? now that he’s injured, others get a chance to play–Your dream scenario. by my score card he’s doing everything right. go ahead and shut your hole and leave baseball to the professionals.

oh bull

April 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

in the dark……………Its only week one, hes hit three, drove in three and sat with 2 injuries already. This is WEEK ONE! We need players who can play everyday, not play 2 and sit 3. This is bull and you know it. If a player cant get out of week one, you have a serious problem. With Chippers past history the last 4 years, we have a solid problem and one that needs to be fixed. He is one very expensive bench player. We got rid of Hampton and now its time for the other liability to leave the team. That would be Chipper………


April 12th, 2010
2:38 pm

oh bull:

your handle matches the quality of your comments.


April 12th, 2010
3:35 pm

Why dont you guys just put Heywood in the hall of fame now and save yourselfs some time. I can understand you guys being excited about a player when hes new, young, and talented but you guys really got a habit of going over board with the accolades until hes played a few years. My god you acted this way about Francour and gets what happened. You people need to calm down. Jeezz!!!

Grace NevergreenTree

May 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

Truly nice article as for me. It would be nice to read a bit more about this matter. Thanx for giving such info.

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