Results tagged ‘ Jason Heyward ’
Hard to believe, but the 2013 International League season (and our home opener at Coolray Field) is just 85 days away! With April 4 quickly approaching, we’re starting to lift the curtain on some of the things you can expect to see for the upcoming season of Gwinnett Braves Baseball.
The first major announcement occured this morning with the launch of the Fifth Season campaign and logo (pictured left). Celebrations of the anniversary season include a new alumni Bobblehead Series and brand new 5-Pack Plans. The series of five bobbleheads features G-Braves who have gone on to stardom in Atlanta, including Brandon Beachy, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen. Conveniently, you can purchase tickets to all five bobblehead giveaway nights in the Bobblehead Pack, one of the four 5-Pack Plans that were rolled out in today’s announcement.
The 5-Packs also include a Fireworks Pack (all five dates are Friday Fireworks nights), a Best 5 Games Pack (our most popular games including Opening Night on April 4 and July 4) and a Silver Sluggers Pack (five day games). Reinforcing the five theme, each 5-Pack starts at just $50. You can get more details and buy online as well by visiting gwinnettbraves.com/5pack.
To add to the excitement of Season Five, gwinnettbraves.com is hosting a look back at some of the great players that have played for the G-Braves in the team’s first four seasons. Expect to read up on guys like Barbaro Canizares (this week’s feature), Matt Young, Todd Redmond and Mauro Gomez in addition to the likes of Freeman, Kimbrel and others. A new “5th Season Friday” feature will debut each Friday through the end of March.
Is that enough fives for you yet? Me neither. As if the baseball gods had a hand in it, the G-Blog was announced as the 55th most visited ProBlog on the MLBlogs Network for the past year. Fifth place would have been more fitting, but it’s an honor to finish near the middle of the Top 100 in our first year. You can check out the entire list over at mlblogs.mlblogs.com.
Give yourself a high-5 for reading this post and head over to gwinnettbraves.com for more on the 2013 season!
Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess
The best closer in baseball title belongs to the former Gwinnett Braves farmhand Craig Kimbrel. This season with the Braves, the right-hander has recorded 30 saves (2nd in MLB) alongside an insane 1.35 ERA and 0.65 WHIP. He has struck out an impressive 67 batters in just 40.0 innings of work, while we has walked just 10 hitters all season.
The days of playing at Coolray Field on a regular basis are long gone for Kimbrel. The right-hander consistently registers between 97-99 mph on the radar gun, as is quickly becoming one of the most respected relievers in all of baseball. This former Gwinnett Brave is creating a path to greatness.
Forever connected will Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman be in the minds of Braves fans. They both came up to Atlanta together after stellar Gwinnett career’s, and both set the league on fire upon their emergences. Freeman just lost the National League Rookie of the Year voting to his teammate, but was happy for Kimbrel nevertheless.
This season the first baseman is coming into his own, hitting .270 with 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 22 doubles with Atlanta. Not only is his offense on the rise, but his defense has never been better. Freeman, when on the field, has been one of the more consistent Braves this season. With time, he will grow into one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease
The Braves prized product is finally producing in the way the Braves imagined when they drafted the 22-year old. This season Heyward has taken the next step in his career, further enhancing his growth in the game. Heyward is batting .270 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 18 doubles and 15 stolen bases alongside fantastic defense in right field.
He has become a full-time player in 2012, starting almost every game against left-handers as well. There is no question the future is still indeed very bright for Heyward, as he continues to scratch the surface of his immense talent.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess
Most fans probably assumed that the fourth name would be Tommy Hanson, however Mike Minor has been far more impressive at certain points this year. The southpaw had a rough start to 2012, but he has resurrected his season as he surges to the finish. The lefty is churning out quality starts as if they were going out of style. Minor has worked 6.0 innings or more in each of his last four starts, including striking out nine while he walked none in his sixth win this season during his last start against the Phillies.
The left-hander has trimmed his ERA to a respectable 5.17, alongside a 6-7 record with 98 strikeouts in 113.0 innings of work, yielding 42 free passes. The future ace of the Atlanta Braves rotation? Possibly. He could surprise you as most of these former G-Braves standouts have already done with early success in their young MLB careers.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Watts
By: Tony Piraro
The Gwinnett Braves Front Office is taking a much needed breather from their 145-game Triple-A regular season schedule on Thursday, as we visit our parent club at Turner Field this afternoon. I am writing this article live during the Atlanta Braves (15-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (12-13) game from the Turner Field Press Box directly above home plate. The press level is magnificent and is at least 10 times the size of our press box in Gwinnett. This will be an easy adjustment for me to make.
Former G-Braves standout righty Randall Delgado (2-2, 6.30) will be matching up with the Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton (2-3, 3.81) for a 12:10 p.m. first pitch from Turner Field. Other current Atlanta Braves in today’s starting line-up that have donned a Gwinnett Braves uniform are Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Tyler Pastornicky…just to name a few.
Regardless, all is well in Braves country. The Atlanta Braves are right in the thick of the National League East Division, as they trail the Washington Nationals by just half a game for first place. With all the hype surrounding the phenom Bryce Harper, it surprises me that there are still four other teams in the NL East besides Harper and his Nats. Needless to say, both the Braves and Nats had improbable wins Wednesday night…
Atlanta found themselves down 6-0 Wednesday night to Roy Halladay who had never lost a game when leading by six runs or more. Also, Halladay hadn’t allowed a grand slam since the previous decade (1999), which really set the stage for some Braves heroics. Following a Brian McCann grand slam that tied the game, 6-6, the Braves found themselves down four runs, 12-8, just an inning later.
Atlanta stole the show and Chipper Jones broke the collective back of the Phillies with not one, but two dramatic walk-off shots in the 12th inning. Jones’ first blast down the right field line was called just foul as the fans of Atlanta were primed to erupt….Nevertheless, two pitches later the living legend sent a no-doubter into the right centerfield stands for a walk-off winner, 13-12, as the Braves grabbed their first win over the Phillies in their last nine tries.
The G-Braves have also been cruising as of late with their league-best record. Gwinnett took one of two games from the back-to-back defending National Champion Columbus Clippers in a Wednesday double-dip. Currently, the G-Braves own the best record (18-8) in the International League and have the No. 1 ranked pitching in the IL this season. Stefan Gartrell has picked up after his 2011 pace, jacking two bombs this week and raising his batting average from .165 to .205 in a matter of days.
The G-Braves return home, alongside the rest of our Front Office staff, on Saturday for the first of 11 games in 10 days from Coolray Field. Gwinnett will be playing host to Charlotte (2 games), Buffalo (4 games) and Toledo (5 games) during the upcoming home stand. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.
By: Tony Piraro