Heyward does real damage in batting practice

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Heyward sliding.JPGBraves outfielder Jason Heyward was named Baseball America’s top prospect this morning, edging out 2009 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg.  This afternoon, Heyward proved why. 

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Dave O’Brien, the 20-year-old went to town in batting practice today, denting a Coca-Cola truck and smashing a team executive’s sunroff with measuring-tape shots over the outfield wall at Champion Stadium. 

“He’s strong as an ox,” hitting coach Terry Pendleton said after the workout. 
“Every ball was just scalded,” added manager Bobby Cox.

A 6-foot-5, 245-pound McDonough, Georgia native, Heyward batted .323/.408/.555 with 17 homers, 46 total extra-base hits and 11
steals in 99 games between high Single-A and
Double-A last season.  He finished the year at Triple-A with a .364/.462/.364 batting line in 13 plate appearances.  It’s safe to say the kid is probably ready for the major leagues and the Braves will certainly be tempted to add him to the Opening Day roster.  Cox even hinted at the idea earlier this month.

Report: Mets ownership backs Terry Collins

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The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.

Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.

Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.

Joe Mauer becomes first Twin to reach base seven times in a game since Rod Carew

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Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.

ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.

After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.