The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward has consistently ranked as one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball thanks to his Gold Glove Awards (2012, 2014 and 2015) and his multiple top 10 finishes in outfield assists (including leading all right fielders in 2012 and 2014), putouts as a right fielder (first in 2012 and 2014), fielding percentage and defensive WAR.
Heyward set career highs in several offensive categories last year with St. Louis, including a .293 batting average, 33 doubles, 160 hits and 23 stolen bases in 154 games, his most since playing in a career-best 158 games in 2012. He posted a .359 on-base percentage, his best mark since his career-best .393 on-base percentage in his rookie season, while his .797 OPS was his best since 2012. His 6.5 WAR ranked fifth among all National League position players while winning his third Gold Glove in the last four years.
Selected by Atlanta in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 Draft, Heyward made his major league debut three years later, connecting for a three-run homer in his first-career plate appearance in the first inning against the Cubs on Opening Day, April 5, 2010. His rookie campaign featured an All-Star selection, though he did not play due to injury, and an .849 OPS, the second-best OPS by a National League rookie since 2010 behind only Kris Bryant's .858 mark in 2015. Heyward was named N.L. Rookie of the Month in April and May and ranked fourth in the league with a .393 on-base percentage.
Heyward set a career high with 27 home runs, 82 RBI, 93 runs scored and six triples in 158 games with the Braves in 2012, also winning his first Gold Glove Award. He capped his Braves career in 2014 with another Gold Glove before being traded to St. Louis on November 17, 2014 as part of the four-player deal that sent pitcher Shelby Miller to the Braves.
Born in Ridgewood, N.J., Heyward graduated from Henry County High School in McDonough, Ga. and turned down a scholarship from UCLA to sign with the Braves out of high school. Heyward's father, Eugene, played basketball collegiately at Dartmouth University.