New York Yankees No. 3 organizational prospect Slade Heathcott was New York's first round draft choice in 2009 out of Texas High School in Texas. The highly touted prospect has been battling injuries for most of his minor league career hampering his development and stalling his way to the Majors.
The lefty hitting outfielder has yet to accumulate more than 300 at-bats in a season curtailing his ability to make adjustments at the plate. Heathcott has yet to play in a minor league game this year working in Extended Spring Training trying to make his way back from last year's knee surgery.
No one has given up on the 6'1" 190 lb 23 year old just yet because of his above average arm, running and defensive ability which makes him capable of playing any of the three outfield positions. Slade's lefty swing is tailor made for Yankee Stadium with his above average potential for power. Heathcott also has plus bat speed, ability to recognize pitches and to use the whole field he isn't strictly a dead pull hitter.
Even after two knee and two shoulder surgeries he still has above average running ability and throwing arm. This is a testament to his work ethic in rehab and trying to get back on the field. Slade is considered by many as a legitimate Gold Glove outfielder someday.
So far his career Minor League numbers aren't really indicative of how good he could be because of the injuries. Heathcott is still on the 40-man roster because the potential has the Yankees scouts and Minor League officials salivating at what he could become.
In only 300 minor league games over 5 years Heathcott has a .270 average with 20 home runs,125 RBIs, 123 walks and 312 hits in just 1154 ABs. Defensively he has 23 assists and 487 putouts in 529 total chances.
ETA is 2015 barring anymore set backs with injuries. The young outfielder is slated to start in Double-A Trenton once he concludes Extensive Spring Training, but should quickly move to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre sometime before the summer.
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