Sep 30, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielderJason Heyward
(22) hits a grand slam home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
No, Heyward did not have an off the charts year offensively. However, Heyward has absolutely been the Cardinals’ MVP this season. Heyward finished the season with a .293/.359/.439 line with a .792 OPS with 33 doubles (career high), 13 homers, four triples, and 23 stolen bases. However, the most influential part of Heyward’s game this season has been his gold glove worthy defense. It is not the easiest thing to quantify or measure, but it has been crucial to the Cardinals’ success this season-especially in the last month as Heyward came up with big plays in games against the Pirates and Cubs (potential NLDS opponents).
Call to the Pen
If Heyward is on at the plate and is playing his strong defense in either center or right, the Cardinals will do well. Forget about Heyward’s .154 career postseason BA, as I believe Heyward is a different player for this Cardinals’ team than he ever was for the Atlanta Braves. This is another opportunity for Heyward to prove that he is worth a big contract in the offseason.