Ever so slowly, Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward's power is starting to come around. Heyward’s home run Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies was the 100th of his career, his second in five games, and (as it turned out) the difference in a closer-than-it-probably-needed-to-be 6-4 win.
Opposing pitchers have preyed upon Heyward’s weakness -- the inside pitch -- all season. He’s hitting .140 against pitches to that area. In the past, he has been able to offset that by hitting the pitch in the middle-third of the plate width-wise. Case in point is 2015, as shown in the heat map below.
But in 2016, he wasn't doing that with much power, until the past few days.
Both of his home runs this month have come against that pitch over the middle-third. His heat map for the season is slowly turning in a positive direction.
Two home runs in five games upped his slugging percentage against those middle-third pitches from .377 to.475.