Jason Heyward Generating His Highest Exit Velocity Since 2015
Jason Heyward has hit four home runs in the last five games, including a screamer Wednesday night that fought a stiff headwind on its way out of the yard. There was also a multi-homer game in Milwaukee, his first such performance in a Cubs uniform. It’s early, but Heyward appears to be doing something different at the plate.
“There’s less push and more snap in the head of the bat,” Joe Maddon said after Heyward mashed his team-leading fourth homer. And the data aligns with Maddon’s eyes.
At his worst in 2016, Heyward’s exit velocity was better than only 21 percent of the league. But so far in the very young 2019 season, his batted-ball speed is better than 72 percent of hitters. That is easily his best mark as a Cubs and is right in range with his 2015 numbers, as illustrated below.
If Heyward continues to put up similar numbers to those he posted with St. Louis, that would be a treat for Cubs fans. With Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras showing obvious improvements, and with Javy Baez showcasing the same type of approach and power as last season, adding 2015’s Heyward to the mix would do more than fix an offense that “broke” late in 2018.