Joel Sherman has reported that the New York Yankees have resigned former first round draft pick Slade Heathcott to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Heathcott was non-tendered earlier this off-season to make room on the Yankees 40-man roster.
Injuries have plagued Heathcott’s minor league career, having played in only 309 games over six professional seasons. He started the 2014 season with the Trenton Thunder but only played in nine games before having to have surgery on an injured knee that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
Heathcott was drafted by the Yankees with the 29th overall pick in the first-round of the 2009 First-Year-Player Draft. He later signed for $2.2 million before starting his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Yankees that season. He went on to play for the Charleston RiverDogs in 2010, appearing in 76 games. After the season he had surgery on his left shoulder and returned to Charleston to start 2011. After 52 games he was promoted to Tampa but appeared in just 1 game before another shoulder injury required surgery to fix.
Slade returned to the Tampa Yankees in 2012, appearing in 60 games at the end of the year and went on to player in the Arizona Fall League. He earned a spring invite in 2013 and went on to have his first full year in the minors in 2013 with the Trenton Thunder where he hit .261 with 22 doubles, 7 triples and 8 homeruns. After the season he was added to the Yankees 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule-5 draft.
Heathcott is likely headed to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015 if he remains healthy. He figures to be the starting center fielder for the RailRiders.