This is Bill James. We’re going to be examining Mr. James’ projections for most of the everyday Braves’ on the 2012 club. Today we’ll take a look at Jason Heyward. All projection data gathered from the fine folks at FanGraphs.
Bill James 2012 Jason Heyward Projection:
149 Games Played, 540 AB, 145 hits, 31 doubles, 4 triples, 21 HR, 86 runs, 74 RBI, 86 BB, 114 K, 14 SB, .269 AVG, .374/.457/.831
So what do we deduct from this? We’ve got a projection from James–who in year’s past has been known to be a little too giving in the way of offensive breakout years to young players–that would say Heyward’s climb back from the abyss will be a slow one.
I think that this projection will end up being a very accurate one. It’s so very important to remember that despite the lofty expectations placed upon Heyward, this young man is still just a babe in the woods. This will be his age 22 season. When you look at that healthy slash line, it’s more in line with what we saw his rookie season when he got such high marks (.393/.456/.849).
Mr. James feels that Heyward will slug at his identical clip that he did his rookie season, with a little less on base making up for our narrow difference.
I think the Braves organization would sign up for this right now if it was offered to them. This is a pivotal year for Heyward as a young player, both in proving to himself that he can be productive in the big leagues and proving to the organization and the fans in the stands.
Moreover, if Heyward produced at this level last season I think the Braves are probably in the playoffs. If he produces at the level James has him slated for in 2012 combined with the signature talent found up and down the Atlanta lineup, you’re looking at a very formidable group all of the sudden.