It's Official: Rookie Heyward to Begin Season as Braves' Starting Right Fielder
March 26, 2010
KISSIMMEE, Fla.-- Rookie sensation Jason Heyward will open the season as Atlanta's regular right fielder.
"How could we keep him off the team," Braves manager Bobby Cox said Friday. "He's done everything this spring."
The 20-year-old Heyward went into Friday's game against Detroit batting .366 with a homer and five RBIs in 41 at-bats this spring. He had a .500 on-base percentage and .537 slugging average.
"He'll be in there everyday," Cox said of the left-handed hitter. "With him, it doesn't matter if a lefty or righty is pitching.
Heyward, an invitee to spring training, was added to the 40-man roster after pitcher Todd Redmond was outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett.
"It was time to make it official that Jason was on the team," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "Now he can just go out and play the last week of spring training without any more speculation."
Heyward was the Braves' first-round draft pick in 2007 and was named minor league player of the year last season by Baseball America after hitting .323 with 17 homers over three minor league stops. He started in Class-A and ended in Triple-A.