Heathcott has sights set on big-league debut in 2014

Former first-round pick vying for spot in crowded Yankees' outfield
02/28/2014 11:12 AM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Slade Heathcott is a 23-year-old outfielder in the Yankees organization. Since being drafted in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft by the Yankees, Heathcott has bounced between low to mid-A ball, hitting .270 in five seasons. He is known as one of the top overall prospects in the Yankees organization.

2013 Season: Heathcott took a big step up last season and spent the entire year in Double-A Trenton. In 103 games, he hit .261 with 8 home runs, 49 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

Greatest Strength: Heathcott appears to be the kind of player who can do a little bit of everything. The Yankees saw some additional power out of him last season, which would add a nice compliment to Heathcott's game. If he turns out to be the player the Yankees thought he was when they drafted him, he'll be a five-tool guy.

Greatest Weakness: Heathcott either has to increase his batting average or home run totals, because he has yet to put up exceptional numbers in either category. If Slade can carry a .300 average throughout a season in Double- or Triple-A, the Yankees will look past his lack of power and will view him as a valuable speed-defense guy who can also hit for average. Best case scenario, though, is that Heathcott will possess all of those traits.

Prediction: This is a huge year for Heathcott, who realistically will be playing in the minors in 2014 for a big-league opportunity in 2015. No matter which level he spends his time at, he should aim to hit around .300 with double-digit home run totals. If he does that, look out for Heathcott to be a September call-up and potential starter for the Yankees in 2015. 

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