Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why you still have to love Slade Heathcott

He's had a wretched spring and last week was exiled to Scranton, where he played last year and hit .267 (with 2 HR). The days of being a heralded 1st-round pick vanished long ago under a cacophony of tweaked sinews and questionable decisions. He's competing with other tarnished former top picks - Aaron Hicks, Justin Ackley - who found themselves in Tampa via agate-typeface trades. At one point, the Yankees released him, but he stayed with the organization.

He just keeps chugging.

Yesterday, in a meaningless minor league game on some secondary field in Tampa, Heathcott scored from second on a sac fly.

Shane Hennigan of the Times-Tribune reported it:

After he led off the ninth with a double, Sanchez hit a deep fly ball to center field that was caught on the warning track. Heathcott tagged up and it was evident halfway to third that he was going to attempt to score. Heathcott beat the throw home, sliding in head first.

Yeah, it's the minors. Yeah, it's meaningless. But it's Heathcott. He'll turn 26 on Sept. 28. That's younger than Hicks, younger than Ackley, only 17 months older than the leviathan, Aaron Judge. If you figure outfielders peak around age 27, he's still worth a flier. We all know that neither Gardner nor Ellsbury can be counted on to last an entire season. (And let's not discuss the statue of Carlos Beltran erected in RF.) Hicks is the fourth OF. Ackley is the 5th utility somethingorother. Then it's Heathcott, the man who scores from second on a sacrifice.

2 comments:

Alphonso said...

Finally, a video to share with his grand children.

Next year, when he hits .088 at spring training, and is optioned to Scranton, you'll be telling us how is is only 28, still younger than Carlos Beltran, etc.

Keep the fires of hope burning.

But don't count on anything.

John M said...

I could have stayed where I was, happily eating schnitzel and schweinsbratl, knoedels and kaesekrainer, drinking real beer and schnapps and Gruener Veltliner. But no, I had to come back to this...this...team of retreads and misbegottens and .260 hitters (and that's the cream of the lineup, not the .220 and .230 bulk of it).

There may be a market for rye whiskey over there, though I don't know if it would ever catch on. A few places manage to have a stock bourbon like Maker's or Jack, nothing really that great. An uphill battle for acceptance, I'm sure, but I may be the man to take that on, one Austrian bar at a time.

It would have to be better than the coming season of senseless absurdity.