Jason Heyward wowed the baseball world after an incredible rookie season in 2010, although he was plagued with injuries in 2011, which led to a mediocre season that drew the ire of many fans. Heyward still provided the team with solid defense in right field and was third on the team in WAR, but even he admitted he was capable of much more on the field.
Former hitting coach Larry Parrish received a lot of criticism from those around the team for his aggressive teachings at the plate and he was relieved of his duties in favor of Greg Walker, who lost his job with the White Sox last season. In addition to Walker, Atlanta also hired Scott Fletcher as a hybrid coach of sorts who will focus on video scouting for the players.
General manager Frank Wren said multiple times while searching for his next hitting coach that the candidate who presented the best approach to work with Heyward and his swing would likely land the job. Apparently, that was Walker, who received mixed reviews from those out of Chicago.
Heyward, who is spending most of his offseason working out in Georgia, will begin working with his new hitting instructors in just a few weeks. J-Hey tweeted earlier this week about how excited he was to get back in the batting cages.
I've met with both of our new hitting coaches, but wont begin working with them until the new year is in. Looking forward to doing so RT @MUshelbyman @JasonHeyward how has it been working with the new hitting coach Greg Walker and the new assistant hitting coach?
The Braves will become an entirely different team if Heyward regains both his strength and confidence that he displayed during the 2010 season and all of his hard work in the offseason will hopefully pay dividends. With Spring Training a little more than two months away, the time is now for J-Hey to get back into the swing of things.
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