While most around here have been hard on him lately, I've tried to control my expectations after a hot start. Whether it was for constant CHOPPAS or staring at too many pitches, or basically because his position in the lineup(not his fault) most here seem to be very hard on him. Obviously when i say optimistic i mean for this season, as even his biggest critic believes he'll have a very special career. And I know this is coming the day after a 4-4 2 HR 4 RBI day but I had to wait for the right time so I don't get torn apart for it.
Let's look at his number so far among rookies
OBP - .378 (4th)
HR - 14 (3rd)
RBI -57 (2nd)
Now we all know about the injuries and the slumps he has been through. However, he has been getting on base throughout the season, has been very good with guys on and 2 outs, and has been very clutch late in games. What I'm saying is if he can bounce back to early season form, the Braves could have another 2 man race for a regular season trophy. (Martin Prado and Omar Infante for the batting title as eglenn showed here. This one between JHey and Jonny Venters. If Jason Heyward's last 38 games can be what his first 38 games were his season totals would be
AVG - .271
OBP - .413
HR - 23
RBI - 90
Now that's a big if, but IF he can do it, along with the team keeping pace in the NL, he has a shot at it.
Whether JHey wins ROY or not, we should be in store for plenty of hardware for the regular season.
Prado and Infante could win a batting title.
If not JHey, Venters has a chance at the ROY.
With a good finish, he or Billy Wagner could win the Relief Man of the Year.
Tim Hudson is gaining ground on the Cy Young and I don;t know if he qualifies for Comeback POY with 7 games last year but if he does, he wins hands down.
I'm not sure of the qualifications on games at a position for Silver Slugger, but Prado should win the 2B.
And Bobby Cox could win the Manager of the Year, but preseason expectations always trumps here, which could benefit Bud Black or Dusty Baker. Still if the Braves finish as the NL champion (and in his last year) it wouldn't shock me if he won it.
Most of these won't be possible however if we don't keep winning and ATLEAST make the playoffs. If so, there could be much more important "hardware" on the way. GO BRAVES