Entering this season, Jason Heyward was not guaranteed a roster spot out of spring training, as a non-roster invitee in camp. Heyward did end up making the opening day roster to start the season, and fortunately, for both Dodgers fans and Heyward himself, the results have paid off favorably.
Heyward has had a resurgent season offensively, carrying a .274/.347/.489 slash line with 15 home runs and a 127 wRC+ in 360 plate appearances in a platoon role. While his play on the field is the best it’s been in years, his presence in the clubhouse and his ability to understand his assignment on a daily basis is what has truly stood out in the Dodgers clubhouse, as Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times writes:
“I signed up to play winning baseball and have a chance to do it late into October... Whatever role that means is something I’m going to be ready for,” Heyward added. “It’s just nice trying to win every game, every single day — no matter what comes our way.”
Heyward was recognized for his leadership and contributions to the team this season, as he was recently honored with the Roy Campanella Award, becoming the fourth Dodger in team history to win the award in their first year with the team. J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register writes about Heyward’s reaction to receiving the award:
“It’s really cool to be recognized,” he said. “Having teammates admire you and wanting to make sure you’re recognized for it, feels special. That’s not my intent, that’s just who I am, who I’ve always been: wanting the best for everyone on and off the field.”
Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have made headlines this season in their own unique ways; Betts with his monster month of August and being within the NL MVP conversation and Freeman setting the team doubles record in a single season and becoming the first Dodger to 200 hits in 19 seasons.
An MVP to either of the two superstars would be the cherry on top to a fantastic all around season, but that is not at the top of their nor the Dodgers’ priority list, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com.
“MVP is cool, but it’s kind of irrelevant — we play to win the World Series,” Betts said.
Hall of Fame shortstop Pee Wee Reese was named the no. 9 greatest Dodger of all time by Huston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register writes about Ryan Brasier’s dominance on the mound for the Dodgers and his quite demeanor in the clubhouse. Brasier has the best ERA for any reliever in the National League who has made 11 appearances, as he has a 0.74 ERA and a 2.47 FIP in 37 appearances with the Dodgers.