Jason Heyward was born August 9, 1989 and is a right fielder who is currently a free agent. Originally the Atlanta Braves' first-round selection in the 2007 MLB Draft from Henry County High School in Georgia, he began his minor league career at age 17. Heyward soon became one of the top-rated prospects in all of baseball for batting, speed, and defense, and debuted in Major League Baseball (MLB) as Atlanta's starting right fielder on Opening Day 2010. There, he played until being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2014 season. Standing 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighing 245 pounds, he throws and bats left-handed. He has worn uniform #22 throughout his major league career in honor of a high school friend and teammate who died in a traffic collision.
A three-time minor league All-Star game selection, Baseball America selected Heyward as the Braves' top overall prospect in 2007 and the organization's best power hitter; it cited Heyward as having the best strike zone discipline and excelling at multiple other skills. In 2009, he won a Minor League Player of the Year Award from both Baseball America and USA Today. That year, he batted .323 with 17 home runs (HR), 63 runs batted in (RBI) a .408 on-base percentage and .555 slugging percentage over 99 games. A consensus number-one MLB prospect entering the 2010 season, Baseball America, Keith Law of ESPN.com and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com all listed Heyward as baseball's top prospect.
After making his MLB debut for Atlanta in 2010, Heyward was named to the National League (NL) All-Star team and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Baseball America named him their MLB Rookie of the Year. Injuries limited his playing time in 2011 and 2013. With a breakout season in 2012, he hit 27 home runs with 82 RBI and 21 stolen bases while finishing tenth in the NL in runs scored with 93. Also recognized for his defense including coverage in the deepest parts of right field, he won both the Fielding Bible and NL Gold Glove Awards for right fielders in 2012, 2014, and 2015, and Wilson's MLB Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.
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