Heathcott expects to be out until May

Banuelos among spring's most impressive prospects
Yankees spent close to $3M on international players in 2011

It’s been a rough few years for 2009 first round pick Slade Heathcott, who signed for $2.2M and has since undergone two left (throwing) shoulder surgeries and battled alcoholism. As the now 21-year-old outfielder says in the video above, the latest shoulder procedure is expected to delay the start of his season and keep him out until May.

“I’m trying not to rush it,” he said. “I’m trying to take as long as possible without being aggressive. I’m trying to be in games around May.”

Heathcott is known for his very aggressive and hard-nosed style of play, which has been a bit of detriment. He was limited to mostly DH duty as a high school senior because of a torn ACL and a left shoulder injury he suffered diving after a ball. This latest surgery is his third major left shoulder problem in the last four years. Since signing, he’s only played in 132 of ~240 possible games. That’s a lot of development time he can’t get back.

I had Heathcott 13th on my annual Top 30 Prospects List, though Baseball America, Keith Law, and FanGraphs each had him in the top ten. He was having a really nice season in 2011 before the injury (.279/.347/.437 in 242 PA), so now he’s got to just focus on staying on the field. The kid just won’t be able to get any better if he doesn’t stop getting hurt.

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Banuelos among spring's most impressive prospects
Yankees spent close to $3M on international players in 2011
  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    -3 shoulder surgeries
    -Parents in jail
    -alcoholism

    If Slade ever makes it to the Bronx, dealing with ‘the pressure of playing in NY’ will be a piece of cake.

    • RetroRob

      The last two could be viewed as motivators.

      Show me a happy person, and I’ll show you a failure.

  • Reggie C.

    heathcott is destined to become the most athletic DH in the majors. Hopefully, the young man can return soon.

  • Knoxvillain

    I wish he could stay healthy. But there is no way in hell this guy will ever see a pitch in the big leagues. Ever.

    • crawdaddie

      Are the Mayans right about the end of civilization?

      • Midland TX

        I don’t worry too much about all the low-wOBA comments in the threads. It’s just spring training. A lot of guys are just working on one particular aspect of their comments.

    • Gonzo

      If I had to wager, I’d probably take your side of the bet.

      That said, I hope he can get and stay at 100% soon.

      • Knoxvillain

        It looks like that so far. It’s pretty sad, I had high hopes for him.

  • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

    Total bummer. I really hope his rehab goes well and he can come back and get his career back on track.

  • paul a

    Does anybody know the status of Russell Brayan? is he still with this team or not ?

  • Rich in NJ

    I wouldn’t count out Heathcott yet.

  • http://yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com Fishjam

    Has everyone heard the Yanks are taking Mason Wiliams to pay Baltimore tonight? Can’t wait to see him with his added muscle. Should be in by mid-game subbing for Brett Gardner in CF. Game starts at 7 on MLB channel.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Fun fact: I was at a night game against Baltimore in Sarasota last year. Cameron Diaz showed up in the 5th inning for ARod at bat. He grounded out. He was out of the game after that and left with Diaz and Cano in a black, tinted window’ed Expedition. They had a driver. Jeter then got in his Mercedes and drove back to Tampa himself.

      Oh and Greg Golson threw a runner out from centerfield trying to score from second. Sat next to Dickie V behind home plate but he’s busy this year. Great night even with Mitre pitching.

  • http://yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com Fishjam

    Has everyone heard the Yanks are taking Mason Wiliams to play Baltimore tonight? Can’t wait to see him with his added muscle. Should be in by mid-game subbing for Brett Gardner in CF. Game starts at 7 on MLB channel.