From Brian Johnson To Jason Heyward
I had just interviewed Red Sox prospect Brian Johnson when I decided to take a break from FanGraphs. In the best interview I’ve ever received, Johnson detailed the blow-by-blow of being hit in the face by a line drive early in the Fenway Future’s Game a couple of years ago.
When Jason Heyward was hit last week and went on the disabled list, I thought of my interview with Johnson and the details of his rehab from a broken jaw. Thankfully, Heyward’s jaw wasn’t wired shut after surgery. Johnson’s was. It took four months before Johnson was able to eat a steak. Heyward will be back at Kevin Rathbun’s Steak long before that.
Had Heyward’s jaw been wired shut, his season would have been over. For a broken jaw, this is the best case scenario.
Overall, Heyward disappointed in 2013, but he was back to being the team’s best player at the time of injury. I don’t think he’ll be 100%, but 85% of Jason Heyward is more valuable to the Braves than the national audience will give credit for.
Speaking of the Braves, if you live within eight hours of Atlanta and have the ability to travel, you should be there on the night of September 13th. Not only will the Braves be playing actual baseball, but The Lone Bellow will be performing in concert AND singing The National Anthem. Fudge and double fudge. I’ll be there with the whole family.
If you need proof how great this band is, watch this link. It will be the best four minutes of your week. Be sure to watch on full screen in HD. Don’t skimp.
Last week, I traveled to Chattanooga to see Justin Nicolino pitch. On paper, he was pristine. At the park, he was 86-88 with sink, above average command and a couple of average off-speed pitches. The hype on him is overblown. For me, Nicolino is a 4/5 starter. The velocity just isn’t there for him to be much more.
Dodgers Rob Rasmussen was 90-92 mph who changed eye levels effectively. With a curveball, slider and changeup, Rasmussen worked up with fastballs before pounding the bottom of the zone with off-speed pitches. it’s a mix which works well in the minor leagues, but may not translate well at its highest level. If Rasmussen misses a spot up and in, it will be pummeled. 24-year old Mark Canha proved the point by turning on a letter high, inside fastball and driving a home run to left field.
As an added bonus, Pedro Baez came on in relief for the Dodgers. A former third baseman, he is pitching in relief. Sitting 94-96, he showed fringe average command of a fastball and toyed with both a slider and changeup. He’ll be a big league reliever and may end up being a pretty good one.
On paper, Nicolino got the best of Joc Pederson. However, the Dodgers outfield prospect hung in on at bats and hit a couple of balls hard. He has a terrible platoon split on the season, but Pederson hit like a player who will improve. Over the course of the season, I’ve now seen Pederson a handful of times. He has grown on me with each viewing and will be a quality Major Leaguer.
2 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?