Astérix et la surprise de César move Martin and Lewis buy Slade Heathcott, a 2-way player from Texas High school in Texarkana who will probably be an outfielder in the Yankee system. Heathcott is 6’1″ 196 with an athletic build, who was also a standout high school football player before tearing his ACL in his senior year. He was able to recover and play baseball in the spring, hitting .457 despite playing with a knee brace and missing some time due to a suspension for academic reasons (so I’ve heard). He has recently caught fire, hitting 3 home runs in the playoffs with many scouts watching him (including Yankee scouts) so he has picked the right time to get hot.
The scouting reports on Heathcott are consistently impressive, citing the potential for 5 plus tools. He has plus power from the left side along with good hitting ability, and is able to hit to all fields successfully. Heathcott displayed above-average speed even while playing with a brace, and it could be plus when his knee is healthy. Defensively speaking, he has the capability to man all 3 outfield positions, and has the tools to stick in centerfield and be a good defender there. His throwing arm is also excellent, a product of his ability to hit 95 with the fastball. He is also a great athlete, and his baseball skills are very impressive considering he was also a serious football player.
There is a lot to like about Heathcott, but the biggest knocks against him are related to his character and makeup. In addition to his suspension, Heathcott comes from a broken home (his father is incarcerated on drug charges, and his mother has had drug problems as well), and this has reflected negatively on Slade. There may be other issues, though nothing major has been specified.
All in all, I really like this pick. Heathcott is a a high ceiling player at a premium position with first round tools and athleticism, who will also be signable for a reasonable amount of money. I don’t know the extent of his personal issues, but it is possible that his tough home life has toughened him up, so maybe he won’t be the kind of guy to give up and quit if he starts to struggle. There is certainly a lot of risk between the character issues and the knee surgery, but Heathcott is the type of player the Yankees should be taking a risk on. If all goes right for him, he could be a star. If Heathcott takes somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million, that will leave the Yankees plenty of money to spend on overslot picks in later rounds, including hopefully Tanner Scheppers.
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