#28 / Left Field / Cincinnati Reds
Dec 14, 1984
Chris J. Heisey, 28, was born in Lancaster, PA on December 14, 1984. I'm sure it was lovely. He attended Donegal High School (PA), the same high school as MLB Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, and enrolled in Messiah College (PA) to continue his baseball career. After his Junior year at Messiah in 2006, the Reds drafted Heisey in the 17th round, making him just the second player in Messiah's history to be drafted (after David Henninger was drafted in the 21st round of the 2005 draft by the Royals). He left Messiah holding nearly every major statistical record, including batting average, total bases, doubles, home runs, extra base hits, and longest hitting streak.
Rather surprisingly, the 17th round of the 2006 draft has proved quite fruitful for MLB franchises, and Heisey isn't even the most accomplished OF from the round. Josh Reddick was drafted 19 spots after Heisey, and current Yankees reliever David Robertson was selected immediately after Reddick. Other notable names from the Reds' 2006 draft class include Drew Stubbs (1), Chris Valaika (3), Josh Ravin (5), Jordan Smith (6), Justin Turner (7), Josh Roenicke (10), and Danny Dorn (32). Poor, poor Danny Dorn.
Heisey has obviously outplayed his projections based on his draft status, but that's something he's seemed to do his entire career. He was the Reds Minor League Player of the Year following his 2009 season, where he hit .314/.379/.521 with 22 HR and 21 SB between AA Carolina and AAA Louisville. Heisey was also an FSL Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star for Sarasota in 2008, a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star for Carolina in 2009, and a Futures Game selection in 2009. Quite the Minor League career for someone who never cracked Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list.
On June 22, 2011, Chris Heisey hit 3 home runs against the New York Yankees, and it was pretty awesome. Heisey has also owned Wandy Rodriguez in his career (1.072 OPS in 24 PA, 3 HR), facing him in 11 more PA than any other pitcher he has faced largely due to Jay Bruce's perennial struggles (and now off-days) against Wandy.
Heisey was arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2012 season (since he qualified as a Super Two), and he and the Reds settled on a 1 year, $1.33 million contract for the 2013 season. He'll be arbitration eligible three more times (after the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons), and will be a Free Agent following the end of the 2016 season barring any contract extension.
Ratings via The Baseball Cube
Those seem pretty accurate. Heisey is an above average runner with decent contact skills and above average power...which is exactly what you'd hope for in your primary RH pinch hitter.
Most of Heisey's projections seem to be about in line with his career performance; the only real debate seems to be over how often he'll get opportunities. While he produced rather odd reverse platoon splits over his first year and a half in the majors, that changed in 2012 (when had a .680 OPS vs. RHP and an .827 OPS vs. LHP). If that trend continues (and Shin-Soo Choo struggles vs. LHP or on defense in CF), Heisey could get more of an extended look this season.
Fan Scouting Report Ratings via FanGraphs (career rating)
First step: (61)
Arm strength: (54)
Arm accuracy: (54)
Looking at Heisey's career defensive stats will give you a headache; trying to describe them to other people will make your head want to explode. Therefore, I'll let you look at them for yourselves. They're about as divergent as possible, but general consensus has always been that he's a slightly above-average LF and RF, and a slightly below-average CF. Once again, pretty much what you'd hope for in your 4th OF.
Pitch f/x Hitter Profile:
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