ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward has been considered a five-tool player since the Braves drafted him with the 14th overall selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Over the course of this past month, the 22-year-old outfielder has used his legs and arm to prove this is indeed an accurate description.
"That is the best I've ever seen him throw," one National League scout said after seeing Heyward range to his left before throwing back across his body to prevent Rick Ankiel from stretching a single to a double in the ninth inning of Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Nationals.
Given the fact that he has hit .353 with six homers and a 1.060 OPS since the start of June, Heyward will be a candidate to be named National League Player of the Month. His candidacy has been enhanced by the four outfield assists he notched this month.
Heyward helped the Braves secure a 4-3 win over the Yankees on June 19 with a strong throw that denied Mark Teixeira's attempt to score from second base on a Nick Swisher single. He also retired D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel with a strong throw to the plate on Thursday night.
"I want the ball to be hit to me," Heyward said. "It's just like you want to be the one who is up with the bases loaded and two outs. You just want to have a chance to do whatever you can to help your team win."
Prado back in left in middle game against Nats
ATLANTA -- Martin Prado was supposed to get a day off Friday to rest his strained right hamstring. But with the Braves trying to rally from a four-run deficit in the seventh inning, manager Fredi Gonzalez called on Prado to pinch-hit.
Prado hit an RBI single, and Gonzalez left the versatile veteran in the game at second base for the final two innings of the Braves' 5-4 loss to the Nationals. Gonzalez said he would have preferred to give Prado a full day off, which would have been his first since May 4.
"The best-case scenario was for us to win last night's game and not use him at all," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he thought Prado was favoring his leg more than usual in the Braves' 3-2 loss Thursday. Prado downplayed those concerns Saturday, calling his injury a cramp.
"I just felt it was going to cramp again, it's nothing to worry about," Prado said. "I told [Gonzalez], 'I'm sorry if I looked a different way running.' But I'm feeling better."
By remaining in the game at second base Friday, Prado has now played four different positions this season. He regularly starts in left field, and has also played third base and first base.
Prado has played more games in his career at second base than any other position, though he has not played there since 2010. But he said it didn't feel like returning home Friday night.
"It didn't feel like my home at all," Prado said. "I felt like I was in somebody else's home."
Prado returned to his latest home Saturday, playing left field and batting second. He entered play leading the Braves this season in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.384) and slugging percentage (.464).
Moylan sees first game action on rehab stint
ATLANTA -- Braves right-hander Peter Moylan made his first rehab appearance Saturday, pitching one inning in the Gulf Coast League. Moylan is recovering from surgery performed last September to repair a torn right rotator cuff.
Moylan needed just seven pitches to get through a perfect first inning against the Yankees' GCL affiliate. He struck out one batter and got two groundouts.
Assistant general manager Bruce Manno said Moylan is scheduled to make three more appearances in the GCL this week. He will need to work up to pitching on back-to-back days, and could return to the Major Leagues in late July.