Baseball America has begun churning out its Top-10 prospect lists and the top young Yankees were announced today. Well, technically the list won’t be freely available for another two weeks, but it’s the internet, and you know how good the web is about keeping secrets. Anyway, here at YGY we will be bringing you a profile of each of the Top-10 prospects starting with #10 and working our way up to the top.
#10 – Slade Heathcott
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6’1” Weight: 190
D.O.B.: 9/28/90 Highest MiLB Level: A+
2009 (Rookie): .100/.182/.100; 11 PA, 10 AB, 0 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 2 K
2010 (A): .258/.359/.352; 351 PA, 298 AB, 48 R, 16 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 15 SB, 42 BB, 101 K
2011 (A+): .279/.347/.437; 242 PA, 215 AB, 38 R, 11 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 6 SB, 19 BB, 58 K
Heathcott would probably be higher on this list were it not for his propensity to injure himself (particularly his left shoulder). Since the Yankees drafted him right out of high school in the first round of the 2009 Draft he has sustained three injuries on this shoulder and had two surgeries as a result, the most recent of which was in the middle of the 2011 season. As you can imagine, his playing time has suffered as a result. When Heathcott is on the field, though, he plays tremendous defense and was voted as one of Baseball America’s Best Defensive Outfielders last season. As you can see from his stat lines above, we haven’t had much of a chance to see Heathcott really stretch his legs and show us what he’s got. Also, the fact that he just turned 21 means that he’s got plenty of time to develop and work things out, assuming that he can stay healthy (and that’s a BIG assumption right now). On the plus-side, Heathcott’s strikeout rate was on pace to drop a bit before he went down with the injury last season, and patience at the plate is always a good thing. Look for Heathcott at the High-A/Double-AA level next season.
And on a more personal, off-the-field note, check out this story of Heathcott’s troubled family life and the struggles he went through in high school. With what he’s gone through to get to where he is, let’s hope these recurring shoulder injuries don’t continue to sideline him and jeopardize what is otherwise a very promising future.