2009 Draft: Yankees First Round Pick

Game 59 Spillover thread
Montero returns to lineup in loss

Slade Heathcott

With their first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected CF Slade Heathcott out of Texas HS in Texarkana.

Scouting Report: Heathcott is an exceptional athlete and a physical specimen, which gives him a chance to develop five above-average or better tools. He has good bat speed and pop from the left side but needs to fix some mechanical issues in his swing to square up balls more consistently. Despite having ACL reconstruction surgery last November, Heathcott has very good speed which allows him steal bases and run down balls in the outfield. He has a strong arm, but needs to tighten up his routes to reach his full defensive potential. Heathcott can play all three outfield spots and is a legitimate center fielder. Committed to Louisiana State, Heathcott is considered signable. You can read more about him at MLB.com and ESPN (subsciption req’d).

Although there are no concerns about his intensity on the field, some teams have been scared off by character issues. Heathcott’s father is in prison on drug charges and his mother is out of his life for similar reasons, which is an obvious red flag. He was also ruled academically ineligible for the playoffs last month.

Here is Heathcott’s MLB Scouting Bureau video.

My Take: I like the pick. You can’t complain about taking a high ceiling up-the-middle athlete in the first round, and Heathcott certainly has that kind of ability. The off-the-field issues are a concern, because with that kind of upbringing you do have to worry about the kid’s ability to discern right from wrong, but I’m confident that the Yanks will do everything possible to help him transition to life in professional baseball.

Photo Credit: AutographsForSale.com

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Game 59 Spillover thread
Montero returns to lineup in loss
  • Smitt Dog

    I like it. Welcome aboard Billy Bad-Ass!

    • Dillon

      For everybody that said Slade was ineligible for the playoffs are full of shit. My uncle Glen Welch coaches the team and Slade is a full time player. So stop hating this kid is an excellent one.

  • pat

    I don’t like the academic ineligibility.

    • Mister Delaware

      Won’t be an issue in the pros.

      • ChrisS

        ‘Cause he’ll never make it there.

        • kSturnz

          no, silly. because he doesn’t have to go to school!!!

      • pat

        How can you be so sure?

        • pat

          If a kid can’t prepare enough to pass tests in highschool hows he gonna prepare for upcoming pitchers and shit?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Listening to the intellectual heft of the members of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight crew, I’m pretty sure “being smart” has very little to do with “being a good baseball player”.

            Jorge Posada pees on his hands because he thinks they toughen them up.

          • Zach

            it was a mistake, look at 8:41 in the live draft

            • pat

              yea i just saw that thanks.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Anyone named after a cheesy 70’s Glam-Rock band must be good.

  • DreDog

    Who in the organization can mentor him?

    • Will (the other one)

      Melvin Croussett.

  • BigBlueAL

    I dont like the fact that most Top 100 lists Ive read this kid isnt even in the Top 50 in most of them. Oh well the Yankees certainly know much more than I and most draft prognosticators do, at least I hope so!!

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      He shot up the boards recently. Oppenheimer apparently likes to do this, its the same thing we did with Bleich last year. I guess he feels he gets better value with the lower pick by taking a guy who’s game is improving. Plus, he’s signable and we can’t lose this pick again.

  • Baseballnation

    I would have liked Rex Brothers but with his height concerns and Heathcott’s upside, i can’t really complain.

  • A.D.

    I read that he had been hot in the playoffs lately, what gives.

    Slade Heathcott hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth to help Texas High wrap up a sweep of the best-of-3 4A Region II quarterfinal series.

    http://www.hsgametime.com/dfw/.....fc911.html

    • Clayton

      Mike admitted his error during the live chat.

      • A.D.

        Yeah, I asked the same question in the live chat, realized that was probably the smarter approach.

  • josh

    what r the chances they sign him

  • William

    Seems like the Yankees and Red Sox had the same draft strategy: a high risk/high reward CF’er.

  • putt

    Maybe he’s got a bit of a checkered past, but his name definitely sounds like he should be wearing a captain’s hat and penny loafers…

    • Zach

      I dont think HIS past is checkered, it’s his parents right?

      • A.D.

        Basically its saying Joba has a checkered past because of his mom. Realistically it prob helps the Yankees have leverage on signing him.

        • Zach

          I dont think its smart to bring up his parents in negociating, his representatives knows the Yankees cant lose this pitch so rubbing him the wrong way isnt the smartest move in my book

          • A.D.

            Not bringing up his rents, or really anything specifically, but realistically he probably wants to sign and get a nice bonus more than a kid like Gerrit Cole, where money is less of a driver.

      • putt

        I was just going for humor regarding his stereotypically 80’s-era comedy-antagonist name, didn’t mean to sling any misguided arrows his way…

      • CB

        Where did that b.s. come from that his mom is out of his life? She is very much a part of his life! Grr!

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Prediction-His intro song when he comes to the plate at Yankee stadium will be “Cum On Feel The Noize!”

    • mtt

      They better not use the Quiet Riot cover

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        The original, of course.

  • pat

    mlb.com is still on pick 25, you gotta be shitting me

    • William

      I see them up to 31.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski
      • pat

        ah ok thanks i guess i was looking at something different where they were a few picks behind.

  • dkidd

    porn star name plus movie-of-the-week upbringing

    he’ll be the feel good story of 2013

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    Do we really care whether he can tell right from wrong? I’d say it’s more important that he can distinguish good-for-a-baseball-career from bad-for-a-baseball-career. I’d recommend against dealing drugs, for instance.

    • Zach

      Lets be honest, out of all the major sports MLB has the least amount of arrests or whatever, they get maybe 5 DUIs a year? NFL gets 1 DUI a week. How many bar fights do MLB players get into?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, not really. I’d say, proportionally, all the sports are pretty much the same in terms of players with legal troubles per capita.

      • Matty Ice

        actually, that’s probably hockey.

  • Matty Ice

    I don’t care if he can read or not, just hit the damn ball.

    Pretty sure Shoeless Joe couldn’t read, and I don’t think Manny is going to be splitting the atom anytime soon.

    • Baseballnation

      I just want Manny to split his dreadlocks…

    • Zach

      teams has 3-5 guys who dont even speak english

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        The ability to speak english has nothing to do with reading skills or mental aptitude, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that…

        • Baseballnation

          Yea, I think the academic thing is getting overanalyzed…Obviously everyone Processes information or mind subject matter differently, and while the kid may be bad at math, it doen’t mean his baseball aptitude is lacking per se

          • Mister Delaware

            Reading fucks up your eyes. – Lenny Dykstra

        • http://deleted RollingWave

          I have a hard time classifing Cano and Melky as smart.

    • Clayton

      Ty Cobb stabbed a guy.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Heh.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Scheppers off the board to Texas.

  • Steve H

    His upbringing sounds like a combination of Joba and Ankiel. I’d say both of those guys have turned out well.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Toronto takes James Paxton with the Burnett pick from us.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/.....ent=paxton

  • Charlie

    i’m liking this round much better… 1 minute on the clock, and no bud selig talking.

  • Jobamania

    so uh, is he gonna be like tabata? lol

  • Jobamania

    oh and whats his ETA to the majors? or AAA at least

    • Mister Delaware

      He’s not going to be a quick mover.

  • pat

    MOTHERFUCKIN JAY BUHNER

    • Drew

      Jerry it’s Frank Costanza, Mr. Steinbrenner’s here, George is dead, call me back.

  • B-Burnetter

    im alright with this pick. just want to know what they do from here on out. any strategies you guys think are best (pitching/position player/HS/college)?

  • PaulLooney

    Those that worry about the academic failures of this kid need to re-visit the school stories about Babe Ruth.

  • http://www.tynansanger.com Ethan Stanislawski

    There were a ton of character issues with Brian Bruney when the Yankees picked him up off waivers in 2006. No one questions Bruney’s work ethic now (just his tendency to be injured).

    • Mister Delaware

      And his lack of respect for Dr. Andrews.

      • Zach

        so called doctor

  • Jobamania

    did anyoen take Tanner scheppers yet?

  • Baseballnation

    Texas is having a killer draft already…

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      If they sign everyone, yes.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Nolan Ryan must be thinking “There’s nothing wrong with beating these talented arms like rented mules and turning all their careers into Dwight Goodens and Mark Priors, as long as I keep drafting more and more of them.”

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Actually, he plans on teaching them how to throw a gazillion innings without blowing out you arm, the way he did.

          Just don’t throw strikes. That’s what puts too much stress on the arm, all that ‘aiming the ball’ stuff. That’s how Nolan did it.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Heh.

            Walks or strikeouts, wins or losses, it’s all good, just as long as you keep pitching until you’re 50.

            innings >>>>>>> results

    • Baseballnation

      Not really impressed with their third pick of Mendonca. Has some upside for sure but strikes out alot and contact ability is questionable.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Yanks take C John Murphy with their 2nd rounder.

  • Baseballnation

    wtf john murphy?

  • J

    Yanks just picked John Murphy nice.

  • MattG

    Who is this guy?

    • J

      Think Paul Lo Duca

      • steve (different one)

        lookout Charleston teenage girls!

  • Tom Zig

    Why wouldn’t you take Stassi?

    • MattG

      That’s what I want to know. He’s 5-10, 170lbs. That guy can’t possible stay at catcher, can he?

    • CB

      Red Sox have very little catching in their system and they passed on Stassi with their round 2 pick as well. Clearly the yanks and likely sox talent evaluators liked Stassi less than many people thought of him.

      • MattG

        He’s better than Luke Bailey, too?

  • Baseballnation

    Obviously they don’t see Montero as the catching solution long term with their influx of good upside catchers, so I wonder why don’t they start open him up to get more versatyle by playing some first and maybe left (though he’s probably a DH.)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Obviously not.

      The current depth in the majors and minors represents like, less than 1% of the team’s thinking for each pick. Taking Murphy and Sanchez has nothing to do with our thought process regarding Montero.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      that, and/or because you simply draft based on talent and not needs.

  • Tom Zig

    Can we get a mulligan on that last one?

  • Baseballnation

    That blows when you consider some of the pitchers still on the board…And Murphy reminds me more of Brad Ausmus rather than Lo Duca and thats not saying much

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      if he defends like Ausmus I woudln’t mind too much.

  • Charlie

    i really dislike that second round pick

  • pat

    NOBODY KNOWS SHIT ABOUT THIS KID MURPHY JESUS CHRIST

    • Mister Delaware

      Aside from the caps, I like this point.

    • MattG

      K Law:

      “Murphy is a recent convert to catching who has taken to the position well enough that he should stay there in pro ball. He’s a top-100 prospect because his bat is likely to be an asset at that position. Murphy has a short swing with good bat speed but a flat swing plane that probably will produce line drives but not much power. Behind the plate, he has good energy and an above-average arm, but he hesitates before throwing as if he’s unsure of himself. That will cost him if he doesn’t smooth out his motion. His feet are still a little slow, again as if he’s uncertain where to go, so this all may be a function of inexperience. He has good hands and has learned the position quickly. His bat probably would have played if he had stayed in the outfield or at third, but he has the potential to be an above-average regular as a backstop.”

      I am not impressed. Why not Poythress or Renfroe there?

      • Accent Shallow

        A) Poythress has a terrible, ridiculous name. He’s clearly not going to make it in the big leagues
        B) He was already picked.

    • Accent Shallow

      True. I guess with all the information saturation we have, we all like to think we’re experts. Obviously, none of us are scouts.

      It’s just tough to get jazzed up about a HS catcher with a line-drive stroke when one of the strengths of the system is low-level catchers.

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    People complain about these picks like they know more than what BA or Keith Law tells them. If you looked at draft boards for teams, you will see some wildly different boards. You cant judge this pick for a while. When Romine was picked there was a similar reaction.

    • Baseballnation

      I dissagree, I remember alot of ppl liking the pick and remarking that Romine had good upside and projected to be a jack of all trades kind of guy by being good in alot of areas. Geez, they wrong… I guess. Ha

    • steve (different one)

      exactly. it’s utterly hilarious how everyone becomes an expert on draft day.

      same thing happens every year. there are 5-10 “names” that everyone knows.

      when the yankees don’t select one of those guys, everyone freaks out, despite the fact that no one has ever seen any of these guys.

      2 years ago it was Matt Harvey. everyone freaked out when the yankees picked Romine guy over Harvey, who wound up not signing.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Exactly. People are upset abut Renfroe, but if I am not mistaken, Murphy is on KLaw’s top 100, but Renfoe is not.

  • Jobamania

    this is a great page for John Murphy
    http://blog.imgacademies.com/2.....an-murphy/

    • MattG

      Does he have a college commitment, because this smells of a budget pick. If they are saving up for some outrageous signability picks, then fine.

      • Jobamania

        miami supposedly

  • kelleher
    • Jobamania

      ……………

  • Tim

    Is Renfroe expected to fall far enough for the Yankees to actually have another shot to pick him?

  • MattG

    Damn, I forgot about Wil Myers.

    I am ready to give Oppenheimer benefit of the doubt. Maybe he felt he could sign Murphy so much easier than Myers, Stassi, or Bailey. Maybe he has other plans for the money.

  • kelleher

    This kid could turn back to a 3B or OF. His bat looks good, but I was hoping for a power bat or MI

    • steve (different one)

      or he could turn into a major league starting catcher…in which case, i have no idea how the yankees would handle this calamity of having too many good players at the scarcest position on the diamond. if only you were allowed to “exchange” players from your own team for players on another team, perhaps for players who play different positions. a “trade” if you will.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        if only you were allowed to “exchange” players from your own team for players on another team, perhaps for players who play different positions. a “trade” if you will.

        Wait, so you mean having Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez is a good thing?

        Fuck, I’ve had this ass-backwards all along!!!

  • MattG

    Oh goddammit

  • Andrew

    damnit the red sox picked David Renfroe.

    • Reggie C.

      can they sign him however….

      the fact the Yanks passed on him with their eventual JR Murphy pick makes me think that Renfroe is sticking with his $3 million demand. the RS have dished out million dollar contracts recently, but Renfroe is asking for more than just 1.5 million or so.

      • MattG

        They also drafted him as a pitcher. I will go out on a limb and say the Red Sox lose this one.

  • ZDawg

    No big deal

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m happy with this pick. Would’ve like Scheppers but I’m definitely happy with Heathcott.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Me too. Heathcott is far from chopped liver.

      • DreDog

        At least we avoid the annoying, “Scheppers to the 8th!” discussion.

        • JohnnyC

          AJ to the 8th!

  • Ivan

    I like the pick. Heathcott has some terrific tools and has the potential to be a very special player.

  • Blackdragon905

    I wanted Scheppers. I can live with Heathcott though. The second pick, not so much.

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  • BklynJT

    LM has a lot of good things to say about the 2 yankee picks so far. Also notes that we have alot of room to play with signability cases in the later rounds.

    http://www.nomaas.org/draft/

  • Drew

    This guy’s a fuckin redsox fan! WTF!!! I wonder if he sticks as an OF’er, 93-95 with room for improvement from the left side is pretty tempting.

    • MattG

      I read 88-92, and if you’re referring to the shirt in the scouting video, that’s a Cape Cod-issued uni.

      • AlexNYC

        Phil Hughes was a Sox fan, and where is he now?

    • Stryker

      does it really matter what team he liked? hughes was a red sox fan too..

  • Bart

    Hmm, According to Baseball America, Murphy ranked “second” in “strikezone judgment” of all 2009 H.S. prospects! This is impressive, – don’t ya think?

  • MikeD

    Many of the best players are driven because of their backgrounds, moving through their lives with chips on their shoulders, caused by bad upbringings, parental issues, etc.

    • MattG

      And many are doomed to relive their parent’s mistakes.

      • http://www.myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

        Or LEARN from them. My mother is a slob, which coincidentally helped shape me as very well organized.

  • ZDawg

    I have a good feeling Renfroe doesn’t sign with the sox.

  • dc1874

    Holy Cow!!!! The Yanks drafted Travis Bickle!!!! http://www.britfilms.tv/images.....Review.jpg

  • BronxBomber44

    I hope this isn’t another t. hamilton issue.

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