One reason Jason Heyward couldn’t launch pitches in 2016 was because of an inability to get around on fastballs, a deficiency that prompted hitting coaches John Mallee and Eric Hinske to help reconstruct the swing of the best defensive right fielder in baseball.
So far in the young season, Heyward seems to be reaping the benefits of his hard work, as two-seamers aren’t problematic anymore. Indeed, Heyward has produced more than 13 runs above league average (weighted) against two-seamers this year. That’s a dramatic improvement from last year, when he was worse than league average by 2.2 runs.
The swing is still a work in progress, but the short-term results are justifiably making Heyward smile a little bit more.