Last night the Yankees selected Slade Heathcott in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. Today, I plan on giving you a little bio on him.
Heathcott is 6’1″ and 196 lbs. He was born on September 28 of 1990. He bats and throws with his left hand, and he is an outfielder. There is some concern about his character off the field, his father is in prison and his mother is out of his life. These are some issues, but there have never really been any reports on Slade himself doing anything horribly wrong. Look at Joba’s mother, she is a mess, and Joba did get that DUI, but overall he’s not a terrible person or anything. I’m confident that the Yankees will make sure Slade stays on the right path and they will continue to monitor him closely. Heathcott unfortunately was a Red Sox fan, but now he says he has changed his ways. “I’m a Yankees fan now. I actually was a Red Sox fan. I’ve always been a Red Sox fan since I was little and I just kept with it.” When asked if he was surprised about how the draft turned out, Slade said, “I was pretty surprised. It’s indescribable.” Heathcott also said, “I had (talked to the Yankees) quite a bit. I think it’ll be an excellent fit.” He is an aggressive player, he plays with a lot of passion and heart.
Heathcott is a real athlete. He is a true physical player. He is a plus hitter who can hit for average, but he also has power to all fields which is great. In the field Slade has very good instincts which allow him to play all three outfield positions very well. He also has an above average arm because he used to be a pitcher. On the base paths Heathcott is a speedy guy. Even with ACL reconstruction surgery in November Slade continues to run exceptionally well. He has been running with a knee brace just to be safe, so you have to imagine he’ll show even more speed once that comes off. He has plus tools in every category and has the chance to develop them into 5 above-average tools at the major league level. One thing that makes him who he is, is his intesity. He plays the game with a fire.
The general thought is that he wants to play pro ball, and is signable. The Yankees will have to do all they can to sign him because after failing to sign Geritt Cole last year, they received a compensation pick which as we see turned out to be used on Heathcott. This year if they fail to sign Heathcott they will not receive a compensation pick, making it critical to sign Slade.
I like the pick very much. He could turn out to be a very good player. His ceiling is something of a player like Nate McClouth with a few differences. However, he is also a risky player. All draft picks are, you just never know how they will turn out. So just remember don’t get too excited, if we ever see in in the big leagues it won’t be anytime soon because high school players typically take a long time to develop.
In the second round of the draft the Yankees selected John Murphy (76th overall). He’s a convert catcher. Very athletic. I like the pick, but I really would have liked the Yankees to pick David Renfroe (who the Red Sox ended up picking up later, 107th overall). Oh well.