Thursday, January 5, 2012

Road to Yankee Stadium Top 10: #9 Slade Heathcott

Slade Heathcott, OF, HiA

This past season Slade Heathcott spent most of his playing time at Charleston (LoA).  There he hit .271 with 4 HRs, 4 triples, 11 doubles, 16 RBIs, and 36 runs in 52 games.  He was then called up to Tampa (HiA) but was hurt after the first game that he played.  In that game he did however, have three hits including a HR.

Up to this point Slade's stats have not lived up to his first round selection in the 2009 MLB draft.  However, he is still a very toolsy outfielder who is still pretty raw, since he was drafted out of high school.  The biggest concern right now with Slade has been injuries.  He has had three shoulder surgeries on his left shoulder since he was a senior in high school.  That is the most troubling aspect going forward and may end up being his demise, hopefully not.

His minor league career so far has been less then stellar.  His rookie season he only played three games in the GCL, and got 1 hit in 10 at bats.  Last season, he played his most games as a professional up to this point, playing in 78 games at Charleston.  There he hit .258 with 2 HRs, 16 doubles, 48 runs, and 30 RBIs.

Next season will be very important in showing what Slade has to offer.  If he can come back strong from his third shoulder surgery, then he has a very bright future going forward.  If not, this could be the beginning of the end for Slade.  If everything goes right for Slade, he is still a few years away from the bigs.  I would say that at the earliest he would be called to the bigs by the 2014 season.  But again it all depends on how that shoulder heals.

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