ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward has been considered a five-tool player since the Braves drafted him with the 14th overall selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Over the course of this past month, the 22-year-old outfielder has used his legs and arm to prove this is indeed an accurate description.
"That is the best I've ever seen him throw," one National League scout said after seeing Heyward range to his left before throwing back across his body to prevent Rick Ankiel from stretching a single to a double in the ninth inning of Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Nationals.
Given the fact that he has hit .353 with six homers and a 1.060 OPS since the start of June, Heyward will be a candidate to be named National League Player of the Month. His candidacy has been enhanced by the four outfield assists he notched this month.
Heyward helped the Braves secure a 4-3 win over the Yankees on June 19 with a strong throw that denied Mark Teixeira's attempt to score from second base on a Nick Swisher single. He also retired D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel with a strong throw to the plate on Thursday night.
"I want the ball to be hit to me," Heyward said. "It's just like you want to be the one who is up with the bases loaded and two outs. You just want to have a chance to do whatever you can to help your team win."