This year’s crop of Ridiculous Rookies isn’t as spectacular as last season’s group, however there are some players to make yourself aware of because they should have quite an impact for their respective teams. Atlanta is well known for slowly developing talent. It is something that has led them to become a perrenial contender. One of their biggests prospects this season is Jason Heyward and he is my next Ridiculous Rookies subject.
Jason began his professional career right out of high school in 2007 when he split time between the GCL Braves and the Daville Braves. He really didn’t begin to make waves statistically until 2008 when he split time between A Rome and A+ Myrtle Beach, when he hit a combined 0.316/11/56 with 15 stolen bases in 471 at bats. The Braves knew he was going to be a special player and in 2009 moved him from A+ Myrtle Beach to AA Mississippi then to AAA Gwinnett.
2009 was a strong year for Jason as well, he batted a career high 0.323/17/63 with 10 stolen bases. He only had 11 at bats in AAA and knowing how the Braves like their hitting prospects to get some time in at AAA before coming up to the big leagues, I am assuming that he will spend at least two months in Gwinnett before he gets the call to Atlanta.
I see him as a 0.280/25/80 with 10-15 stolen bases. As an outfielder those numbers won’t make him a superstar, however he will only be 20 this year and usually players don’t start showing their full power until they turn about 23-25. So my initial projects should increase.
As far as his signed cards go, eBay is littered with them. They run between $20 – $75 depending on the limitations of the release. He is not an unknown, people felt as though he was going to be big in 2007, his first season. The value won’t be going down and based on how well he does this season, I would tend to think that those prices are going to double if he ends up in Atlanta and starts pounding the ball immediately. He has all the makings of a contender for the NL Rookie of the Year this year. He will however face some very stiff competition.