Slade Heathcott #83 – 2013 Top 100
New York Yankees
Date of Birth: September 28th, 1990(age 22)
Origin: 1st Round Pick(#29 overall) in 2009 out of Texas HS(TX)
Michael Schwartze: Heathcott has a lot of loud, exciting tools in his game, but his development has been delayed over the years due to a variety of injuries. In each of his last two seasons he has failed to reach the 300 plate appearances milestone due to injuries; the 2010 season was the only time in his career that he has eclipsed that plateau. Towards the end of the 2012 season though, he began to show promising signs that he was putting things together while with High-A Tampa and in the Arizona Fall League.
Heathcott is a plus-plus athlete with interesting raw potential in his bat. He has a plus arm in center field and shows great route running skills as well, but he’ll need to continue to refine those routes and work on the accuracy of his arm He has the tools to be an impact bat at the top of the order and provide above average defense in center field, but he has a long way to go in order to reach such a ceiling; the extensive injury history certainly adds risk. Heathcott could immediately start the year at double-A Trenton or spend a bit more time in High-A Tampa. His future will be shaped by how much progression he makes refining his raw tools and approach at the plate and, of course, his ability to ward off more injury delays.
Jeff Reese: It’s fairly easy to lose sight of Slade Heathcott in the thicket of exciting international prospects that surround him. Heathcott’s life has been tumultuous; the issues that previously could have been considered make-up concerns are now obstacles that he has overcame. The work ethic is certainly in place for him to maximize his tools – that intensity level may even make him more prone to injuries as was the case with his injured shoulder.
Don Olsen: I have watched him over the years; all I can say is that he is Eric Byrnes 2.0. His greatest asset will keep him on a roster as, at worst, a backup spot starter for Brett Gardener — a “crash test dummy” in his own right. Slade has a sound swing: the path, extension, all are clean with a 5/6 ceiling. He has strength, but he may just show average to above average power. His gritty Midwest style is something that can be “glue” for a lineup. Heathcott’s overall blend of tools is as good as any hitter on this list. If he can attack the spring, he could be an option with a late season call up. His energy could be a filter feeder to the Yankees clubhouse.
Fantasy Outlook by Michael Schwartze
Heathcott is still a long way from the majors, and I think he’s a guy you only want to consider in deeper fantasy formats. He could make his major league debut in late 2014, but it may not even be until mid 2015 that he cracks the Yankees’ lineup. Should the injuries continue to mount, that could delay his timetable and mitigate how much talent is wrung from the raw tools. With that being said, Heathcott could be a valuable fantasy piece if he does fulfill his potential, especially in leagues with a center field designation – 20/20 (homeruns & stolen bases) along with a .275ish batting average would certainly be coveted there. Given the amount of uncertainty surrounding him, he is a high-risk fantasy asset with a lot of potential payoff.