ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward's two favorite players growing up were Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter. On Wednesday, Heyward got to do his best impression of Griffey, playing center field in the Braves' 8-4 loss to the Marlins.
It was the first time Heyward had played center field in his Major League career, which spans 306 games. He caught all three balls hit his way, including a shallow fly ball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that initially fooled Heyward.
"It looked off the bat like he hit another ball that would go to the wall and had a chance to be out [of the park]," Heyward said. "I ended up having to come in for it."
Heyward's chance in center field came as a result of Michael Bourn taking his first game off this season. Heyward said while he tries to model Griffey in center field, Bourn is also a good example of how to play the position.
"When I played center field in the past, [Griffey] was somebody you could watch and say, 'There's a certain way to get it done,'" Heyward said. "Mike Bourn most definitely is one of the guys you watch. You can learn a thing or two about how he plays center field, as well."
Before the game Wednesday, Heyward said Bourn gave him a vote of confidence.
"He was like, 'You've got it,'" Heyward said. "'You don't need any help.'"
Heyward was back in right field for Thursday's series finale against the Marlins. And he isn't expecting to get another chance in center field anytime soon.
"[Manager Fredi Gonzalez], today, we came in and he said, 'You played center field yesterday and now you're out of there, back to right field,'" Heyward said. "He was like, 'I'll see you in another 30 days.'"