Jason Heyward’s Impact on the Dodgers Goes Beyond the Field in 2023

Dodgers' Heyward Proves Invaluable Mentor to Young Talent Amidst Stellar Season

In 2023, Jason Heyward is showcasing his best performance since 2019, but his influence on the Los Angeles Dodgers extends far beyond the confines of the baseball diamond.

Freddie Freeman, who himself is having a remarkable year, shares a unique connection with Heyward. Born just a month apart, both players were drafted by the Atlanta Braves, with Freeman being selected a round after Heyward. Recognizing the value of adding Heyward to the team, fresh off his departure from the Chicago Cubs, Freeman saw the potential benefits for a squad that leaned on its youngest players despite boasting the oldest roster in baseball.

“It’s just natural to him. He’s not even trying to be the guy. It just happens. And it happens wherever he’s been,” said Freeman. regarding Heyward’s ability to be a leader. “You talk to the Cardinals, the Braves, the Cubs He’s never been the guy, ‘I’m going to stand up and do this.’ It just naturally happens. People gravitate towards him. That’s why I fought so hard for him to get here.”

(Via Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

Outfielder James Outman, amidst his rookie season, is one player who has reaped the rewards of Heyward’s leadership. Maintaining a solid .254 batting average and an impressive 23 home runs, Outman has become an integral part of the Dodgers’ daily lineup. He boasts a 118 wRC+ (a statistic that adjusts Runs Created for external factors like ballpark or era). Heyward’s presence has been instrumental in helping Outman make the transition to the big leagues and hone his craft.

Max Muncy, another standout player for the Dodgers, has had a phenomenal season with 36 home runs, tying his career high. Muncy emphasizes the widespread and positive influence Heyward has had on the team, both on and off the field.

“He’s just been a great mentor to me,” Outman said. “Kind of ever since spring training, he’s always trying to help me get better.”

(Via Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

As the Dodgers advance in the playoffs, they eagerly await the outcome of the Diamondbacks-Brewers series in the divisional round, set to commence this Saturday. In the first game of the series, the Diamondbacks secured a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night, setting the stage for a thrilling postseason showdown.

“He’s such a great guy. He’s so positive. He’s always there picking everybody up. That’s what he’s best at,” Muncy said. “He’s always doing it on an everyday basis. He’s never wavered from who he was. That speaks to his character. He’s been a special guy to be around. I feel like he’s made everyone in the clubhouse better – not just better teammates but better people too.”

(Via Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

In 2023, Jason Heyward’s contributions to the Los Angeles Dodgers transcend the conventional measures of performance, as he continues to mentor and elevate his teammates, especially the emerging stars of the team.

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Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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