Heyward leads National League with .991 OPS

.991 – Jason Heyward’s OPS, the highest in the National League.

Not quite two months into his rookie season, the Braves’ 20-year-old phenom leads the NL in on base-plus-slugging percentage, ahead of Philadelphia slugger Jayson Werth (.990).

Heyward had two hits and a walk Friday to raise his on-base percentage to a whopping .422, to go with a .568 slugging percentage. (His total rounds up to .991.)

He  also ranks among NL leaders in each category individually.

The only major leaguers with higher OPS totals than Heyward after Friday’s games were American League stars Justin Morneau (1.170), Miguel Cabrera (1.074), Kevin Youklis (1.041) and Robinson Cano (.994).

71 comments Add your comment

Kevin

May 29th, 2010
2:34 am

Jason heyward is legit! Btw, DOB kudos on the octo-burn on “Reality” on your previous article…I chuckled for awhile…lol pure awesomeness

jcg

May 29th, 2010
2:36 am

I think now its time to bat Chipper 2nd and Heyward 3rd. I think it would help chipper to be in a “get on base” mode rather than a “drive the ball” mode. Just my opinion what do you think Dave?

DawgBoi

May 29th, 2010
2:42 am

Heyward is cleanup period. Chipper two and McCann three. Add Prado and Glaus to sandwich those three and you have the best 5 we have had at the top in a while. Heyward is not just a game changer; he’s a division/league/pennant changer..

Goodoleboy58

May 29th, 2010
6:14 am

If you bat Chipper and McCann in front of Heyward I hope you are ready to turn him into a singles hitter because neither of those guys are going to be taking many extra bases. Heyward would run up on both of them in a hurry. Love them both but neither are fleet of foot.

Runnin

May 29th, 2010
6:30 am

The amazing thing about Heyward’s OPS is that he doesn’t seem to be doing anything so special…for him. He’s cruising along getting his walks and hits here and there, and often struggling a bit for stretches, just as you would expect a rookie to do. The thing is, his struggling numbers are still so darn good. It’s going to be otherworldly when he gets hot after being in the league a while and really finds his groove. He might start walking 4 and 5 times a game.

GovClintonTyree

May 29th, 2010
6:48 am

Jason Heyward is good at baseball.

Joey M

May 29th, 2010
7:14 am

I wish we had the Chipper and McCann from 2008 hitting with Heyward. His stats would be even better with all that protection. This team has been Heyward/Prado. Glaus only this month.

JK

May 29th, 2010
8:20 am

McCann is not a 3 hitter by any stretch of the imagination. If Yunel can get back to the Yunel of old it should be Prado, Yunel, Heyward as the first 3…in that order. No doubt about it.

JK

May 29th, 2010
8:24 am

Chipper needs to bat 6th as he finishes out his last season. He can get some occasional clutch hits that drive in runs. OR he can choose to buy an even lighter bat and start spraying hits all over the field and hit .300+ for the rest of the season.

Tman

May 29th, 2010
8:33 am

Heyward’s been amazing, but I think it’s too early to fully judge how great he’s going to be just yet. Yes, he’s been about as impressive as any rookie ever. However, there’s a long list of players who were phenoms as rookies who dropped off once their weaknesses were known. For example my cousin, Gordon Beckham, hit .270 last year and was up for Rookie of the Year. This year, he’s about .190 and struggling. It happens. That said, Heyward hasn’t shown any flaws yet, and I hope he doesn’t.Let’s hope he keeps this up for 15 years while wearing a Braves unifrom.

Resign or Resign?

May 29th, 2010
8:38 am

jcg:

Agreed; been sayin’ the same for a while. Best bat needs to be #3 to get more ABs per game.

Good ole boy:

You are right about Mac; he doesn’t need to be any higher than #4. But I think that Chipper still has enough speed to bat second.

Resign or Resign?

May 29th, 2010
8:43 am

Tman:

Please, not so negative! …and comparing Heyward to Gordon Beckham? Anyone can see the difference in Heyward’s natural talents, intelligence and instincts versus other “phenoms”. He reminds me of Aaron; only bigger and stronger. Dave Parker, in his prime, maybe?

Doug

May 29th, 2010
8:57 am

I agree with Tman. I am not being negative, just realistic. Remember how well Frenchy started off, but that is before NL pitchers figured out how to pitch to him. Once they did, they exploited his over-aggressiveness at the plate, and as a result, was able to get him out. I’m not saying that the same thing will happen to JH, but I’m saying we all need to temper our enthusiasm and realize there MAY be a correction period next season as more and more MLB pitchers figure out his weaknesses — if he has any! Go Braves!

The big hitter

May 29th, 2010
9:00 am

Wow! Your cousion is Gordon?! Who is Gordon?

Let's see !

May 29th, 2010
9:03 am

My only concern, the Braves will get rid of him, like they seem to do with every productive player that helps the team win.

Tman

May 29th, 2010
9:06 am

I’m not being negative, just realistic. It’s hard not to be in awe of what Heyward’s done so far. It’s just that once a guy’s been through the league a few times, adjustments are made. It’s what Heyward learns and how he responds that will determine everything. From what I know, he’s extremely mature and I think he may just be what we hope. As I said, I hope he’s in a Braves unform for a long time.

G-Man

May 29th, 2010
9:10 am

You don’t know who Beckham is? He’s that soccer player out west somewhere….

Wes

May 29th, 2010
9:15 am

Heyward has already been through the adjustment faze once, and came out strong. After his great start, pitchers started throwing breaking balls down and in to him, and he would swing almost every time. There was a period of a few games, where I could have told you what they were going to throw, and that he would swing and miss. He figured it out, and now when they try that, he lets it go, and he started racking up walks because of that. I hope that indicates he has the ability to adjust quickly to what he is seeing.

Tman

May 29th, 2010
9:19 am

Hey, no ragging on cousin Gordon, unless you’re a Tech fan, and don’t even do it then! He plays 2nd for the White Sox.

gdawg

May 29th, 2010
9:32 am

With all due respect to Beckham…my son played w/ him in the summer and college…the ONLY comparison between Gordan and Heyward is that Gordan was a rookie last year and Heyward is a rookie this year…totally different approach both mentally and physically…It is difficult to find a hole in his swing and when he does have issues he appears to address them quickly and w/o overreacting….he may not be a 5 tool guy but, I haven’t seen a player with his potential in a Braves uniform since the Hammer

proffish

May 29th, 2010
9:32 am

If Chipper and Escobar continue to struggle, look for a lot more playing time for Infante, who just continues to have strong years. His OBPS is third on the team and he can perform well in the one or two slot in the order. Heyward to third, Chipper or Escobar to seventh after Henske.

Ken Stallings

May 29th, 2010
9:33 am

For years we Braves fans have been praying for a hitter with power and plate discipline. A hitter who can make adjustments based on the pitch count and put the ball into play when the situation simply calls for a solid single to win a game or score a critical run.

Chipper Jones for years was the closest we have had to this kind of disciplined all-around hitter. But he had some challenges himself. Brian McCann was close but not quite that kind of threat because he is slow afoot.

Jason Heyward in that five-tool player who hits for average and power and has a keen eye at the plate. He is a pitcher’s worst nightmare. He will make you throw a strike. He has already made two adjustments in two months.

First, pitchers were trying to bury hin down and in with hard sliders. It seemed to work for a few games, but he made an adjustment and started slamming those pitches down the right field line. Back to the drawing board for the pitchers!

Then, he started being too patient, and all it took were a brief comment from Terry and Bobby, and suddenly he started raking the first quality pitch he saw without chasing borderline ones.

When a player has a good eye at the plate, there are only so many adjustments a pitcher can make. This isn’t a flash in the pan. This is a hitter who has proven the champions right. He is in the same league as Ken Griffey, Junior. As long as he can remain healthy, he will continue to put up monster numbers.

Enjoy him, Atlanta! Few times can you see someone this good!

NEW CARS

May 29th, 2010
10:06 am

I continue to be amazed at the people comparing Heyward and Frenchie…Frenchie was a good ballplayer and can still be, but has as poor a plate discipline as any major leaguer….It took him 100 at bats to get a walk and will always be a mistake hitter….There are guys all through history like Frenchie that end up having decent careers, guys with big arms and hit 25 homers…No. 6 and 7 hitters…Heywad has a chance to move into the #3 hole and be there until 2030, if he stays healthy…Freeman won’t be another Heyward, but should be more like McCann…280-300 hitter with 20-25 homers and not a lot of strikouts and without the stress of catching…A good no 5 hitter

Blaze

May 29th, 2010
10:08 am

I think Ken sums it up best. Heyward is going to produce wherever you put him in the line-up. I think we can over analyze this too much. Chipper is the one that needs to adjust. Hit fourth and try to hit for more power. Hit second and try to spray the ball all over the place. I would like to see the Braves brass hit Chipper second because I think he could adjust to this roll faster and better. He does get on base at a good clip. I also agree with Resign as Chipper has enough speed to hit second ahead of Jason.

CajunStorm

May 29th, 2010
10:20 am

Blaze you hit what I’ve been asking for quite awhile. I know Chipper doesn’t have the speed we would prefer in the 2 hole but I think in that spot Chipper will get back to spraying the ball all over the field. Even if he can’t get above .300…..with Mr. Heyward behind him and Prado getting on base like a mad man Chipper will even be a tougher problem for opposing pitchers. He has the eye (walk total and OBP) and he would certainly get more fast balls with Prado on base and Mr. Heyward witing to pounce. EVERYONE…Jedi Mind Trick this thought into BC’s head and let’s roll.

williamshakespeare

May 29th, 2010
10:30 am

Heyward has a very mature makeup to go along with his fantastic skills and athleticism. He’s really put a lid on chasing the offspeed stuff off the plate – best news of all.

He is indeed a kid who makes quick adjustments and has a real baseball IQ. Lucky Braves fans!

Resign or Re-sign?

May 29th, 2010
10:31 am

Thanks, Blaze; glad you agree. I think that Heyward’s greatest asset (besides his obvious skills) is that he LISTENS to people! Players such as Handley Ramirez (and perhaps Frenchy) who have had nothing but success in their endeavors seem to tune out advice from others, thinking that their natural talents will overcome any adversity they may encounter. Heyward seems to accept advice from others well, and seems to remain humble (something Francour never did) in spite of his success.

puff

May 29th, 2010
10:33 am

Heyward and McCann should be separated at least until McCann really finds his groove. At times he has had some bad swings against lefties this season, especially pitching him down and in. This should improve as the glasses become more familiar. But even then, having Chipper between the two lefties will be an advantage as long as CJ has his good eye and can draw walks, so pitchers can’t easily pitch around Heyward. The last few games, the lineup has been working pretty well.

Nativebird

May 29th, 2010
10:33 am

I hate to say it cause I love the Kid, but Brian McCann is an issue no one wants to talk about. Hitting 4th and slumping, it is clear that opposing pitchers are walking Chipper (and pitching around Chipper) with NO FEAR whatsoever from the cleanup hitting catcher. Until that is fixed, Chipper will continue to lead or near lead the league in walks, with near bottom of the league in scored runs.

Resign or Re-sign?

May 29th, 2010
10:34 am

Of course, I defer to Cox as far as the line-up is concerned. We bloggers sometimes give the impression we are second-guessing one of the greatest managers of all time; a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, at that!

Resign or Re-sign?

May 29th, 2010
10:38 am

BTW, Freddie Gonzales is the next Braves manager. The fish will tank this year, he will be fired by JL; and will have a successful run in Atlanta. He will also keep TP as his hitting coach if he is willing to stay.

Chris

May 29th, 2010
10:38 am

The difference between Frenchy and Heyward is that Heyward has patience. His walk total and OBP prove this. Frenchy was over aggressive and pitchers exploited it. How many times did we see Frenchy swing at and miss pitches low and away and never adjust? Early in the year pitches started throwing breaking balls in the dirt to Heyward. He went into a small slump but kept his head up and made the adjustment by laying off of the pitch. Pitchers had no choice but to start throwing him strikes again and his bat came back around as a result. Heyward and Frenchy both have talent. But Heyward listens and is a smarter baseball player. This is why Heyward will succeed where Frenchy failed.

DawgBoi

May 29th, 2010
10:45 am

Eddie Perez is Bobby’s successor..

Faith

May 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Jason Heyward is just simply a beast. I watched him here I’m MS last year. Best player I’ve seen come through in a while with Freddie too.

Ric Roc

May 29th, 2010
10:58 am

All of you have made excellent points… great blogging!

Churchy

May 29th, 2010
11:00 am

As long as there is no negative turn by ownership or manager, heyward will be with the Braves his entire career.

Tale of Woe

May 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Lets just hope he doesn’t wear down as the season progresses and pitchers start figuring him out. Heyward makes me want to watch his every at-bat. He is truly amazing, but we do have to remember he is a rookie. No matter what, I can’t wait to watch him the next 15+ years in Atlanta.

batbrave

May 29th, 2010
11:12 am

Big stats: Prado has 8 three-hits games and 21 multi-hits games in only two months. He is a “NATURAL”.¡Wow!

Anon21

May 29th, 2010
11:15 am

I hope Heyward will be with the Braves for his whole career, but that all depends on what Heyward wants, doesn’t it? If he continues to be as successful as he has been so far (a big “if”; he’s great, but to stay on this pace would make him a superstar, and it’s never safe to project a 20-year-old rookie as a superstar), he could easily find himself commanding a huge salary once his obligation to the Braves is up. Will he go the Chipper route, settling down in Atlanta, or will he Boras up and sell to the highest bidder? I really hope it will be the former; and I kind of expect it will be, too, in the sense that he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’s in this game only for the money. Still, time will tell.

Churchy

May 29th, 2010
11:37 am

It may be just me, but Heyward seems like a different person than all those greedy sob’s like A-Rod, Tex, CC, Halladay, Manny, etc….
Heward seems more like someone who is a team player who while wants to be rewarded, understands the big picture.

Tom

May 29th, 2010
11:40 am

I totally agree with Goodoleboy58!! He may be the fastest Brave that we have, please don’t put him behind two less fleet guys(Brian and Chipper). It would seriously hurt his overall complete game. He can also help win games with his speed, Brian will come around, not so sure about Chipper? After all-star break, we need to have looked at CF position. McClouth is very good defensively but batting is very weak. The kid at Gwinnett or Blanco might be the answer? Or can Infante play CF?? What do other fans think?

TheYooooth

May 29th, 2010
11:45 am

You talk about McCann as a slumping hitter… his overall stats may be down but as of late he is tearing the cover off the ball. Not all his hits are falling but they will. McCann will end the season with a .280-.300 avg with 20 HRs and 95-100 RBI I promise. Heyward is just unreal, I read people talking about a fall of like Gordan Beckham… this makes me lol… but the real fact is that Heyward is being so selectively aggressive that it is scary. He has a great eye at the plate. I am not a big chipper fan but I can guarantee Chipper himself is grooming him and helping him figure out pitching tendencies and helping Heyward do to the plate with a goal in mind. That will help any rookie out. My biggest concern right now is Yunel Escobar and Nate McLouth

Kreate

May 29th, 2010
11:47 am

Never heard of him

Daddy Long Long

May 29th, 2010
11:50 am

Braves fans! I cant wait til he starts packing the stands…SOLDOUT!

BartSimpson

May 29th, 2010
11:59 am

My concerns are similar to Anon21’s…..if Heyward succumbs to the allure of big money by letting Boras get his claws in him he’ll be priced out of the Braves’ line-up and end up, as usual, with the friggin’ Yankees or the Red Sox. Let’s hope and pray that part of Heyward’s maturity involves sticking with a team out of loyalty rather than chasing money. Enjoy it while it lasts, Atlanta!!!

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR

May 29th, 2010
12:17 pm

The Bravesd should have brought Mr. Heyward up last year. As he chases Mr. Barry bonds home run records he now nneds those lost at bats the Braves stole from last year. The Braves stole Mr. Heyward’s home runs to reduce the financial amount that will be due Mr. Heyward in his arbitration years. Shames on the Braves. Hopefully. Mr. Heyward will remember hoe shortsighted these dumbasses in the frony are. The fools worry about money when they have future Hall of Famer stuff in their minor league team. Wren is a fool!!!!!

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR

May 29th, 2010
12:23 pm

The Braves should have brought up mr. heyward lasy year. As he chases Nr. Barry Bonds’ home run records he will need those home runs in the future that the dumbassed braves took from him last year in 2009. The braves stole Mr. Heyward’s home runs to push off the Arbitration year that Mr. Heyward will soon have. Insteaded playing games the fool, Wren should have had on the Braves roster in 2009. Only a fool like Wren would stand in the way of a player chasing Mr. Bonds’s home run receord. Dumbass!!! The Braves should dump Wren now!!!! Everyone should vote for Mr. Heyward for the 2010 all star game!!!!!

John

May 29th, 2010
12:38 pm

A month ago I stated it was time to have Heyward 3, Chipper 4 and McCann 5. With Chipper getting hotter it makes more sense. The 3 hole is usually the RBI spot. If you note, that while Heyward is getting hits and walks at number 2, he is not getting the RBI’s. Prado and Eskobar should man the 1 and 2 spots. If you want more runs per game then a change needs to be made. Moving Heyward up to two has resulted in more runs being scored per game but the best would be if he is number 3. He is the future no. 3 with Freeman being number 4.

Braves Expatriate

May 29th, 2010
12:40 pm

Comparing Heyward to Beckham is the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. Beckham will have a successful career, but by far nothing spectacular. And Frenchy!? Francouer thought he was god’s gift to baseball (proven when he texted AJC how unhappy he was with managements decision to send him to the minors) and the Braves organization showed him the door. Oh, not to mention the WORST plate discipline known to baseball and his jealousy towards McCann never seemed to subside.

My concerns are with the rest: What will Heyward choose – loyalty or $? Roots are deep in Atlanta, raised well and mature. Opposite of your Tex, A-Rod, etc. types. We can only hope!

Peter Gammons

May 29th, 2010
12:46 pm

Frenchy was on the juice, the Braves knew it that is why McCann got a long term deal and they did not offer Frenchy one

bigboi

May 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

I personally think we have to have The Melk Man leading off and Prado second with J-hey hitting 3rd.

Castrologist

May 29th, 2010
1:02 pm

I sure as hell hope Infante can play center. We are winning but it is only matter of time before McClouth kills one too many rallies. I root for Nate and it is just sad that he will lose his every day job. How did he drop off so fast? I guess it is a humbling game. I am glad he was clutch for a few games (The Phillies walk-off homer and the game tying one against the DBacks). Regardless, to state the obvious, we need someone in centerfield that can hit. I wonder if the Braves are looking at other teams for the answer or are they content with staying in the organization to fill the need.

All that being said, we are in good position. Let’s go Medlen and Kawakami!! Have some solid starts and let’s get a sweep and then take it to those Philly Phanatics. Check out the below link later this evening or tomorrow for a fitting tribute to the lovable Phillies mascot, the Phanatic.

http://castrologist.tumblr.com

timinsmyrna

May 29th, 2010
1:09 pm

The Braves have done everything right with Heyward. They didn’t rush him. There was no reason to bring him up at 19 on that team. And he will never come close to being a 750 HR guy. He isn’t a pure HR hitter and more importantly, no one who is clean will ever come close to Hank Aaron. Heyward will be a 500-600 HR guy is he stays healthy but could easily be a career .320 hitter with a career OBP of .500. He has Bonds vision, plate coverage, swing, but without the steroids and at this point without the personal baggage.

He is a joy to watch but the Braves deserve only accolades with how they have handled him.

JMAYNE

May 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

Infante is not as good defensively in center, but is not too bad in left. I think its getting about time to move Melky to CF and rotate Infante (vs. LHP) and Hinske (vs. RHP) Also, flip-flop chipper and j-Hey. Best lineup the Braves have had in years. No doubt.

bigboi

May 29th, 2010
1:38 pm

JMAYNE I agree with you, time to move Melky to center.

bowilly

May 29th, 2010
2:04 pm

Chipper still has enough to be productive in starting lineup, but how long will BC play Nate who looks worse and worse each time at bat? Blanco was hitting when called up and now drawing splinters on the bench. Why not use hime more? Also, don’t expect any help from Schafer, he is presently hitting .187 down in Gwinnet. Think he will never reach his hype again.

Supes

May 29th, 2010
2:34 pm

Braves need to lock up Heyward just like the Rays locked up Evan Longoria (as a rookie)…I think Evan got 29 million or close in a multi-year deal, avoiding arbitrations and FA problems for the next 6-7 years.

T'VILLE DAWG

May 29th, 2010
2:36 pm

Enter your comments here

T'VILLE DAWG

May 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

The season and the division come down to a simple principle to me and that is who ever defeats the most divisional teams will be winners, of course this counts doubly for defeating the Phills, the Nyets will simply implode along the way but watch out for the Marlins though and who knows what the Gnats will do.

Idot

May 29th, 2010
3:52 pm

@ 8:57….Comparing Francour to Heyward. There is no comparisonin the way they play the game.
Every team has a marquee player and Heyward will be that player for the Braves for a long, long time, regardless of the cost.
Oh yeah, 59th.

lebron

May 29th, 2010
4:15 pm

Any updates on local kids for MLB draft coming up. I would like to what local kids the Braves have their eyes on.

The Lone Wolf

May 29th, 2010
4:18 pm

You’re looking at the perfect ballplayer here, folks. A computer couldn’t design him any better. The only comparisons that even come close are Griffey, Jr. , Barry Bonds and Willie Mays…but he’s smarter than Griffey and bigger than Mays and doesn’t need steroids (Bonds didn’t need them either)…I can’t wait to see what he does for the next 20 years. He’s gonna destroy the record books.

Nick P.

May 29th, 2010
4:19 pm

We are still one power hitter and one lead off hitter short. Both will probably have to be in the outfield. Cabrera and McClouth are both liabilities and need to be traded. Jordan Schaeffer and a trade outfielder with power will put this team on top. We are good in pitching as Medlin proves himself as another starter. release jojo Reyes, and bring up another young power arm from the minors, and this will be a solid crew. Lead off hitter, one more power hitter!

Nick P.

May 29th, 2010
4:23 pm

players we must release or trade in a package deal: Nate M., Melky C., Kenshin K., JoJo Reyes, maybe Derek Lowe

Needs: lead-off hitter (hopefully Jordan Schaeffer, and a power hitting outfielder, if we can make a run at Oswalt that would be nice too!

Idot

May 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

I didn’t know Reyes was still on the roster. Is he?

bigboi

May 29th, 2010
4:36 pm

I just heard from a reliable source with inside information that we are talking to the Astros. We would get Oswalt and Carlos Lee but we would have to give up a lot of young talent in the proposed deal. They are wanting medlen, Jo Jo, Schafer, and Vizciano.

bigboi

May 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Castrologist

May 29th, 2010
5:13 pm

We don’t need to release anybody right now. Especially not Lowe or KK, who have been pitching much better as of late. This is a team game and you don’t go releasing people unless they simply cannot offer anything more (like Francouer). McClouth is entering that danger zone. We could ship JoJo anywhere somebody will give us something for him.

http://castrologist.tumblr.com

Real UT

May 29th, 2010
6:36 pm

Who is your inside source and how could the Braves afford to pay Oswalt and Lee? I would much rather keep Medlen and Vizcaino, plus Schafer still hasn’t shown what he can do because of that injury. They should just get rid of Blow-Blow.

ATL Shawty

May 29th, 2010
7:10 pm

It’s very sad that Bobby Cox puts loyalty ahead of winning & what’s best for the team. You want your team leader in HR, RBI, SLG, and OPS to be a table setter for a 38 year old Chipper that’s clearly not who he used to be? Heyward batting 2nd means he has the 3 bottom OPS guys hitting ahead of him all the time (Cabrera,McClouth,Escobar) then throw in the pitcher spot. Not a lot of baserunners or guys in scoring position. Basically the best player on your team only has one legitimate hitter batting ahead of him (Prado). CJ’s number suck but he does have a good OBP, so it would make all the sense in the world to have Heyward batting 3rd. There is no need to wait, make this move!!!!!!!!! Cox just doesn’t want it to seem like he’s demoting Jones.

Nick P.

May 29th, 2010
7:40 pm

i am not for a go for broke deal, I love Medlin, and vizcaino could be really good, and carlos lee is another product of the juice with not uch power any more, reyes, lowe, mcclouth, cabrera all can go but not medlin or schaeffer or any valuable arm in the minors, no way, not another texiera deal again.

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