Since his debut in 2010, few players have been more polarizing than Jason Heyward. And since said debut, few players in baseball have been more valuable.
This year, Heyward is somewhat quietly putting together yet another monster season thanks to his ability to employ all five tools into his game. That's not to say Braves fans don't appreciate what he does on a nightly basis, but they guy gets zero love on the national level. Just look at recent All-Star Game voting tallies.
Heyward's WAR on FanGraphs is up to 2.9, and it's steadily been climbing in recent weeks. That makes him the 11th most valuable player in the game right now.
After reaching base three more times in Thursday night's 3-0 win, Heyward upped his numbers to .260/.345/.391 with a 110 wRC+. Those numbers should continue to trend in the right direction as Heyward has always hit better as the season moved along -- he's got a career OPS of .765 in the first half of seasons and a career .821 OPS in the second halves.
We all know how great Jason is defensively and on the base paths, and he has continued to be elite at those two areas in 2014. He's already saved an absurd 22 runs this season in right field; Josh Donaldson of the A's is second with 17 runs saved. Of 164 qualified players, only seven have saved 10+ runs. And Heyward's saved 22.
It seems Jason will always have his naysayers for whatever reason, claiming he hasn't lived up to the hype of being a No. 1 prospect. The fact is that Heyward has continued to be one of the game's best outfielders this year, and he may be on his way to his best season yet.