Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward
29-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Chicago Cubs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Heyward has failed to recapture the magic from his elite 2012 season while experiencing a steep decline in power, failing to top 14 homers in five subsequent years. That drawback is more acceptable if he approaches 20 stolen bases and a useful batting average, but he only swiped four and slashed .258/.326/.389 in 2017. Mining for positives? The once touted prospect plays for one of the league’s best lineups, possesses a consistently above-average batting eye (0.59 career BB/K) and should remain in the lineup most days thanks to Gold-Glove-caliber defense. Unfortunately, his almost constant tinkering of his swing has left himself and fantasy players confused over what to expect, especially with his weak contact. Since he’s still just 28 years old, there’s an outside shot that he can finally cash in again on his tools, but it’s understandable to be sick of chasing him, even if it costs pennies. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs in December of 2015.
On bench Wednesday
OFChicago Cubs
September 19, 2018
Heyward is not in the lineup against Arizona on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
Heyward will take a seat after going 1-for-2 with a double and one run scored during his return to the lineup Tuesday. That marked his first taste of game action since Aug. 30, so don't be surprised to see manager Joe Maddon give Heyward regular time off as the regular season winds down. Albert Almora will patrol center field and bat atop Chicago's order.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2018
Even Split
2017
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2016
 
 
+10%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .651 377 38 4 46 2 .251 .310 .341
Since 2016vs Right .704 1147 148 21 114 14 .254 .328 .377
2018vs Left .742 95 14 1 16 1 .299 .351 .391
2018vs Right .744 357 52 6 36 0 .270 .340 .404
2017vs Left .662 121 10 1 12 0 .267 .292 .371
2017vs Right .734 359 49 10 47 4 .256 .338 .396
2016vs Left .586 161 14 2 18 1 .207 .300 .286
2016vs Right .647 431 47 5 31 10 .238 .309 .338
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
2018
Even Split
2017
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2016
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .670 751 90 11 72 9 .248 .318 .352
Since 2016Away .711 773 96 14 88 7 .258 .328 .383
2018Home .742 206 33 4 26 1 .268 .343 .399
2018Away .745 246 33 3 26 0 .283 .341 .404
2017Home .688 245 31 4 23 3 .257 .318 .369
2017Away .744 235 28 7 36 1 .262 .335 .410
2016Home .606 300 26 3 23 5 .227 .301 .305
2016Away .656 292 35 4 26 6 .234 .312 .345
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Stat Review
How does Jason Heyward compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.75
 
BB Rate
8.8%
 
K Rate
11.6%
 
BABIP
.302
 
ISO
.127
 
AVG
.276
 
OBP
.342
 
SLG
.403
 
OPS
.746
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
According to FanGraphs, Heyward was worth $12.8M during the 2016 regular season in the first year of an eight-year deal with the Cubs. If the speech he gave teammates during the rain delay of Game 7 of the World Series is worth at least $2.2M, the Cubs broke even. Elite defense is valuable, and Heyward continues to offer that on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, he was completely lost at the plate in 2016, and there were no signs of improvement as the second half and postseason unfolded. The sky appeared to be the limit when he swatted 27 homers for the Braves in 2012, but Heyward has racked up 45 long balls in the four seasons since (2,291 plate appearances). Wrist soreness and a hip contusion caused Heyward to miss time during the first half of 2016, and it's unclear if the lingering effects of those ailments fueled his big step back at the plate. Considering that he's just one year removed from a 13-homer, 23-steal campaign backed by a .293/.359/.439 line, and that he's still just 27 years old, targeting Heyward on the cheap may prove to be a low-risk investment that bears fruit.
Heyward has proven himself to be one of the game's best all-around players, but unfortunately, fantasy owners aren't really rewarded for excellent outfield defense. He has yet to grow into the kind of power bat he flashed in 2012 when he hit 27 home runs for the Braves. Heyward has yet to hit 15 home runs in a season since then. Heyward has, however, developed into a fine contact hitter, as he had a career-low 14.8-percent K rate and a career-high .293 batting average in 2015. He is also exhibiting increasingly efficient baserunning, as he stole 23 bases in 26 attempts (88 percent) last year and has 43 steals in 50 attempts (86 percent) over the past two seasons. Heyward never hit more than 18 home runs in his brief minor league career, so this could just be who he is, but at just 26 years old, Heyward could still tap into more power. He figures to slot in to a top-third lineup spot after signing with the Cubs in December.
If you subscribe to WAR, Heyward was a top-25 overall player in 2014, but his real-life value far outweighed his fantasy utility. The major-league leader in defensive runs saved with 32, Heyward improved his average by nearly 20 points and saw a dramatic spike in stolen base production, but he finished three homers shy of his 2013 total despite playing in 45 more games (209 more PA), resulting in a 60-point drop in ISO (from .173 to .113). He struggled against left-handed pitching to the tune of a .477 OPS, down from .802 in 2013, and he hit just .268 against four-seamers, well below the league average. There are some concerns that his issues against fastballs could be a lingering effect of him being drilled in the jaw with a fastball late in 2013, but he improved his contact rate to a career-high 82.2%, and his HR/FB rate (6.5%) figures to return closer to the mean (13.0%) in 2015. A November blockbuster sent Heyward to St. Louis, where he'll look to finally break out under the guidance of hitting coach John Mabry.
Three weeks into the 2013 season, Heyward, who had hit just .121 to that point, was forced to undergo an emergency appendectomy, and he continued to struggle immediately upon his return in mid-May. Slowly but surely, Heyward began heating up (.312 average in June), and he was off to a nice start to the second half before a broken jaw, the result of being drilled by a fastball, put him back on the shelf in August. All in all, Heyward hit .254/.349/.427 with 14 home runs and just two steals in 104 games. His ISO fell by nearly 40 points (from .210 to .173), and he took off on the basepaths a mere six times. There were some positive takeaways, however, as Heyward improved upon his strikeout rate dramatically (from 23.3 percent in 2012 to 16.6 percent), while also walking more frequently. He bettered his average against lefties by 40 points, and hit .322/.403/.551 after moving atop the batting order. Heyward is a likely candidate to lead off for Atlanta in 2014, and he's an obvious candidate to bounce back at the dish, after hitting just .199/.321/.323 on the road last year.
Heyward's power numbers took a big step forward in 2012 as he hit 27 home runs, more doubles and triples than ever before in his career, and easily set a new personal best in RBI and runs scored. He also stole 21 bases, more than he ever stole in his career, even in the minors. After suffering heavy sophomore struggles in 2011, his on-base percentage still has not come close to approaching the dazzling .393 OBP he posted in his rookie season, but it took a step back in the right direction at .335 in 2012 as his batting average also bounced back to .269. Sooner or later, Heyward should break out into a true MVP candidate. A lot of great players have done so in their age-23 season, which Heyward is entering. Even if it doesn't happen just yet, he will still be one of the most valuable fantasy outfielders available.
Heyward may have been the most disappointing player in fantasy baseball last seasons as he hit just .227 and was benched most of August in favor of Jose Constanza and later platooned with Matt Diaz against lefties (he struggled with just a .577 OPS against left-handed pitching). There are reasons to think he'll rebound as he's just 22 this season, he was bothered by a shoulder injury much of the season, he still drew walks at a decent rate and had a low .261 BABIP. A series of tests in the offseason also showed no structural damage in his shoulder. He needs to reduce his strikeouts and improve against lefties and last season leaves doubt he'll become an elite player. Still, the price for a young player with his talent and minor league track record may never be lower.
Heyward entered 2010 as the top hitting prospect in baseball and didn't disappoint. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .277/.393/.456 with 18 home runs while playing outstanding defense in right field. Heyward won the starting right field job in spring training and started off hot by hitting eight home runs with a 1.033 OPS in his first 31 games. However, he strained a ligament in his thumb on May 14 and continued to play with the injury before landing on the DL in July (and missed taking the field after being named to the All-Star Game), hitting .222 with a .689 OPS over that stretch. Once healthy, he hit .302 with a .875 OPS in the second half. Heyward has as much upside as any player in the game with excellent power, great strike-zone judgment, speed and an outstanding glove and arm in right field. He turned just 21 last season, so his initial performance in the majors shows he could quickly improve, especially given that he struggled with a hand injury much of the season. But there are some reasons for concern. Heyward struck out 128 times (75 percent contact rate) and hit just . 249 with a .755 OPS against lefties. Still, he drew walks at a strong rate (15 percent of plate appearances) and should see more power as he grows. It may not be too long before he's one of the best players in the game.
Heyward may be the best prospect in baseball after dominating at Double-A last season as a 19-year-old and he could be a fixture in Atlanta as early as 2010. Heyward hit .296/.369/.519 with 10 home runs at High-A and then hit .352/.446/.611 at Double-A before a three-game taste of Triple-A. His stats were even more impressive given that he turned 20 in August. He has all of the qualities you like to see in a prospect including excellent power, great strike-zone judgment, speed and all the tools to be a plus fielder. He'll likely start the season at Triple-A, but it may only be until late May or early June before he's in the everyday lineup for the Braves.
Heyward, the Braves' 2007 first-round pick could be a fast riser through the system after a strong 2008 season. He has all the qualities you like to see in a prospect including excellent power, great strike zone judgment, some speed and all the tools to be a plus fielder. He'll start the season at High-A Myrtle Beach and could be a factor in the majors as early as 2010.
Heyward, Atlanta's first-round pick in the 2007 draft, hit .288/.386/.404 in his first professional season in rookie ball. He has enormous power, good strike zone judgment and the tools to play right field. He's got a chance to rise very quickly in the system.
More Fantasy News
Rejoins lineup Tuesday
OFChicago Cubs
September 18, 2018
Heyward (hamstring) is starting in right field and hitting seventh Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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Likely to start Tuesday
OFChicago Cubs
September 17, 2018
Heyward (hamstring) is likely to start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting Monday
OFChicago Cubs
September 17, 2018
Heyward is not in the lineup Monday against Arizona.
ANALYSIS
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Back from DL on Sunday
OFChicago Cubs
September 16, 2018
Heyward (hamstring) was activated off the disabled list Sunday, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.
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Still out Sunday
OFChicago Cubs
Hamstring
September 16, 2018
Heyward (hamstring) is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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