New manager Fredi Gonzalez has already stated that he'll hit Jason Heyward sixth in his batting order to start the season. Whether you like the move or not, there has been quite a bit of discussion about the move.
Heyward is a special player. If he wouldn't have played through a bad wrist in late May and early June, he might've posted a .300/.400/.500 stat line as a 20-year old rookie. He had a wOBA of .376, which was 15th highest in the National League, and a wRC+ of 134, which was 13th best in the league. If you don't know what means (definitions here), it's basically saying that Heyward is already among the best hitters in baseball.
So where should he hit?
Vote in the poll, and we'll take a look at a few scenarios after the jump.
After starting the season in the lower half of the order, Heyward spent a majority of the year in the 2-hole and thrived at the top of the lineup. His high on-base percentage allows him to get on base for the run producers and he won't clog up the bases with his speed. The only real negative aspect of hitting 2nd could be Heyward not seeing many opportunities to drive runners in, but he should still get his fair share.
Heyward is probably best suited for the 3-hole, but as long as Chipper Jones is on the team, he won't be hitting third. Just be patient...he'll be hitting in that spot for a long, long time once Chipper retires.
Having Jason in the cleanup spot hasn't really been discussed this year, but it's not a bad idea at all. Hitting him 4th gives him plenty of opportunities to drive in runners, and his high on-base percentage would be great with Dan Uggla and Brian McCann following him. The more I think about hitting Heyward 4th, the more I like the idea.
This is pretty similar to hitting 4th. Heyward would be in a run-producing spot in the order and he'd still be protected by either Uggla or McCann.
Ugh. This is a pretty bad scenario to think about, and it'll likely happen for at least the first month of the season. Batting Heyward sixth gives him absolutely no protection with Alex Gonzalez behind him, and his on-base skills would likely be wasted with neither Gonzalez or Freeman being great hitters. I really hope Fredi comes to his sense sooner rather than later.