Jason Heyward Has Been The Unsung Hero For LA Dodgers This Season

Jason Heyward Has Been The Unsung Hero For LA Dodgers This Season

LOS ANGELES – Say Hey! Jason Heyward has been the unsung hero for a Dodgers team that has World Series championship aspirations. 

 

This is Heyward’s second year with the team, previously with the Braves, Cardinals, and Cubs. He signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers in December of 2022 with an invitation to spring training and ended up making the Opening Day roster. 

 

 

2023 was a resurging year for J-Hey. He fixed some mechanics on his swing with the coaches, and ended up batting .269 in 124 games played, which was his highest batting average since the 2018. He had his second highest slugging percentage of his career at .473 as well.

 

The biggest reason for his resurgence was his new role on the team. Unlike his time in Chicago, St. Louis, and Atlanta where he was relied on much more and considered one of the team’s best players, he’s accepted more of a platoon role, meaning less pressure put onto him. 

 

His new role was so valuable in 2023 to the boys in blue that his coaches and teammates gave Heyward the Roy Campanella Award, given to the most inspirational Dodger on the team. He was able to mentor rookie players like James Outman, and gave star player Mookie Betts the opportunity to stay fresh and get more playing time in the infield at second base.

 

He resigned with the Dodgers in December of 2023, this time on a one-year, $9 million deal. So far, he has not had the same success mainly due to spending much of the season on the IL with a back injury.

 

He’s only played in 17 games because of this, having a .234 batting average, with two home runs, six RBI, and has only struck out a total of seven times. Plus, he’s started to heat up over his past seven games played, with a .313/.389/.688 slashline. 

 

 

The Dodgers infamously flamed out in the 2023 playoffs, and Heyward did not help, going zero for nine. That embarrassment caused the Dodgers to spend a fortune in free agency, including bringing back Heyward, to put the rest of the league on notice that no matter what, they are the favorites to win the 2024 World Series.

 

If there has been anything that turns a contender into a champion, it is the importance of the role player. The best players on a team are already counted on heavily to show up, but the difference makers that elevate a team over the top are the role players who aren’t as counted on, but show up big time, especially if a star player ends up underperforming.

 

This was evident for the Dodgers last year. Betts and Freddie Freeman underperformed in the playoffs, but the role players were also a no show. So if the Dodgers want to right last year’s wrong, then guys like Heyward are going to be crucial. 

Jason Heyward came off bench late to triple in the 7th inning and hit a bro bomb in the 9th inning to help the LA Dodgers (36-22) put an historical losing streak behind them and complete a sweep of the New York Mets. 

 

 

Jason Heyward Remains An Unsung Hero For LA Dodgers | MLBbro Posting Highest Batting Average Since 2018

Jason Heyward Remains An Unsung Hero For LA Dodgers | MLBbro Posting Highest Batting Average Since 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers are once again poised to win the National League West Division.

This would mark their ninth division title in ten years. MLBbros manager Dave Roberts and National League MVP candidate, Mookie Betts have been leading the team to another successful season. However, one of the unsung heroes for the star-studded team in Los Angeles has been the veteran MLBbro Jason Heyward.

 

 

Heyward was signed by the Dodgers back in December of 2022 on a minor league contract.

The MLBbro veteran ended up making the opening day roster and has provided an invaluable contribution to the team. A 14-year veteran with tons of playoff experience was sure to help any team, especially one such as the Dodgers with high expectations every postseason.

The MLBbro is a former All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and most importantly a World Series champion. Adding someone of his pedigree, along with their other roster additions and culture, shows that the team is all in on another championship run,

 

“There’s Bigger Things You Can Reach” | Jason Heyward Talks About His Impact Beyond The Field

 

Not only has Heyward been having a resurgent campaign, but he is also heating up in the final stretch of the season. In the month of August, the MLBbro batted over .300 and only struck out five times in 56 plate appearances. With 13 home runs, Heyward has hit more long balls this season than his last two seasons combined. His current batting average, .262 has not been this high since the 2018 season. 

 

Say Hey? MLBbro.com Chronicles Jason Heyward Goes From Possible Retirement to Resurrection

 

Some of Heyward’s rebirth can be attributed to being reunited with his former Atlanta Braves teammate Freddie Freeman. However, the major reason is his love for the game, and the MLBbro has said that this year he is enjoying playing the game again. His last few years in Chicago were met with disdain due to a hefty contract and underwhelming results.

 

 

He still helped to bring a championship to the windy city amidst all the criticism, and is proving this year that he still has something left in the tank. Dave Roberts has placed the MLBbro veteran in a role in which he can excel in easily, and he has done that, and if he continues the Dodgers will make a deep postseason run.

Say Hey? MLBbro.com Chronicles Jason Heyward Goes From Possible Retirement to Resurrection

Say Hey? MLBbro.com Chronicles Jason Heyward Goes From Possible Retirement to Resurrection

MLBbro Jason Heyward for all intents and purposes was looking towards retirement.

His struggles at the plate with the Chicago Cubs was well documented and even though MLBbro.com roots for the success of all the MLBbros, our stories on Heyward had been reduced to his community work and the use of social media for leadership purposes in the locker room.

 

The supposed timeline for Jason Heyward was supposed to go like this…

 

  • After the Chicago Cubs bought out the contract for $22 million, he was supposed to go away.
  • The media and PR team was going to produce a documentary on his famous speech during the rain delay to inspire his teammates to win the 2016 World Series.
  • Have a nice press conference to announce our MLBbro’s retirement.

 

Jason Heyward had other ideas. He wanted to play baseball. Only one problem, there were no takers out there for an aging free agent that has struggled for a couple of seasons…except for one.

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

“They were the first team to call, the second team to call, and the third team to call,” Heyward said to USA Today Sports.  “No one was willing to give a major league contract, but they were at least willing to give me a minor-league deal and give me a chance.”

 

The Dodgers found a diamond in the rough last year when they signed Trayce Thompson after he was released to fill in for Mookie Betts. Lightning struck twice for L.A. when Heyward signed a minor league deal in the offseason. What did the Dodgers get for their one year, $720,000 investment? A solid contributor in the lineup.  

 

 

Our MLBbro has already matched the home run total in his final days in Chicago in about one-third of the time with six. But it goes further than that. Check out the advanced stats through 43 games to his “Rookie of the Year” totals in 2010…

 

Jason Heyward in 2010 (NLROY):

 

  • 142 games
  • 18 home runs with 72 RBI
  • 11 stolen bases
  • Hitting splits of .277/.393/.456
  • 134 wRC+ (Weighted runs created plus)
  • 4.6 fWAR (Fangraphs Wins above replacement)

 

Jason Heyward so far in 2023:

  • 43 games
  • Six home runs with 13 RBI
  • Two stolen bases
  • Hitting splits of .228/.347.475
  • 126 wRC+
  • 1.0 fWAR

 

Just like in Chicago, our MLBbro has provided the veteran presence in the dugout and locker room providing wisdom and experience to his teammates no matter if they are young or old. For that reason, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave Heyward the ultimate compliment…

 

“He’s on the Mount Rushmore of favorite players I’ve been around,” Roberts said. “He has a new lease on life, a new freshness. He’s been a big part of this. I’m honored to be sharing the same uniform with him.”

 

If our MLBbro can maintain this consistency, not only does this have the potential to be one of the top comeback stories in recent memory, but the Dodgers may have created highway robbery by reclamation projects for the second straight year.

 

But for Jason Heyward, the Dodgers and the MLBbro.com staff, the real story is about a player being happy playing the game he loves…

 

“It’s such a good environment here, coming to work, having fun, and having people dedicated to helping you be the best version of yourself,” Heyward said. “Their reputation here has really exceeded itself. There’s a lot of good examples to watch, left handed hitters to watch, examples as far they prepare, the way guys go about their business, pillars like Freddie [Freeman] and Mookie [Betts] and Will Smith. It makes it easier for us.”

 

“It’s just nice to be playing games trying to win. That’s the most important thing. I don’t care who I’m going out there to battle with, if we’re trying to win every day, there’s the satisfaction. That’s the beautiful part about this organization.” 

 

“I couldn’t be happier.”

 

Heyward gives a big assist to Freddie Freeman opening some doors for this opportunity. It is easy to see the respect they have for one another in this interview after a big win over the Washington Nationals earlier in the week and what is sustaining the success as of late.

 

 

Here’s to our MLBbro’s hard road from retirement to resurrection.