Legends On Deck

Slade Heathcott Finally Gets His Chance

Railriders-Heathcott2It has been an interesting journey for New York Yankees’ outfielder Slade Heathcott. Plagued with injuries throughout most of his minor league career led him to being released from the 40-Man Roster in the offseason. Through it all he never game up on his dream of playing in the “Big Leagues” and this past week his dream came true.

Yankees’ center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the DL on Tuesday night after spraining his right knee early against the Washington  Nationals, and the call was made immediately to Triple-A Scranton for Heathcott.

Heathcott’s first taste of the Majors when he got to Nationals Park was in the eighth inning on Wednesday night when he was a pinch runner for Mark Teixeira and then stayed in the game to play center field, never getting a plate appearance.

But, on Friday however, at Yankee Stadium, Slade Heathcott made his MLB debut at the plate and he didn’t disappoint as he turned a single to left field into a double. Heathcott had two hits on the night as well as scoring a run and even reached first on a catcher’s interference. Although the Yankees lost 10-9 to the Texas Rangers, Heathcott proved that he is Major League ready.

Heathcott also started in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rangers, playing center field and went 1 for 4 with a RBI.

The 24 year old Heathcott was the First Round Pick for the New York Yankees in the 2009 MLB Draft. Through his Minor League journey he has undergone a shoulder injury and two knee surgeries, one just last year that would cause to miss the majority of the season and play in just nine games with Double-A Trenton.

But, it was the invitation to the New York Yankees 2015 Spring Training after being taken off the roster and signed to a minor league deal that would put Heathcott back on the map. He had a stellar Spring Training where he maintained a .333 average and won the James P. Dawson Award for the best rookie in  Yankees’ Spring Training.

After camp he was assigned to Triple-A Scranton and continued with the progress he had made. In the thirty seven games he played all of the outfield with the RailRiders and had a .285 average along with 17 RBIs.

Heathcott is projected to start quite a few games while with the Yankees and with the start he has made so far, we definitely will be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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