Slade’s Struggles

(Bronx Baseball Daily)

Repeating this season in Low-A with the Charleston Riverdogs, Slade Heathcott was poised to have a good season and he started like so.  The 2009 first round draft pick hit .370/.453/.630 with two homers in the month of April, and many thought he would be seeing a promotion to Tampa very soon. But he has dropped off significantly ever since and can’t seem to put things back together.

It seemingly started with a brawl that Slade started with the Low-A Red Sox affiliate in which he was thrown at and then went after the catcher.  It can be see here.  Anyway, he was suspended five games for the incident and has not been the same player ever since.  There could be two reasons for this: 1) He just lost the rhythm he had earlier on or 2) he was hurt and won’t speak up.

In May, he hit .216/.283/.289 and walked only seven times while striking out a whopping twenty-seven times.  In June so far, he is hitting .188/.212/.281 with nine strikeouts and only one walk in eight games.  He has spent the last few games on the shelf for an unknown reason.  He hasn’t been placed on the disabled list or anything like that, he has just not been playing.  Either, they are giving him a few days to clear his head or he is just resting something that is sore.

Either way it’s good because they need to get him to start hitting again.  He was so close to being promoted to High-A until his numbers fell off.  Even Brian Cashman said earlier in the season that he was a potential five-tool guy.  It’s just sad that this had to happen, especially in a repeat year.

All I know is that the Yankees need to do something to get Slade to hit the ball the way he was before the suspension.  He was absolutely killing it against anyone and not to mention that he was playing a very good center field.  This is a guy who I have ranked as one of the top five prospects in the organization and with all they have invested in him as a first round draft pick, they need to get him back to where he was in April.

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