Heathcott Feeling His Way Through First Year

Heathcott has a 5-game hit streak going

CHARLESTON, SC - Slade Heathcott helped create some of the fireworks at Joe Reilly Stadium on July 4th when he hit his first homerun with the RiverDogs. Displaying great speed, the 19–year-old center fielder had an "in the park" homerun to the right field corner.

In Heathcott's first month of minor league baseball, he made an impact with the Charleston RiverDogs'. In the month of June, he batted .267 scattering 24 hits, 13 runs, two doubles, one triple, and eight RBI's. Defensively, he has shown great speed and agility in the outfield.

Even with the success that the youngster has had so far, he feels that there are still some aspects of the game he would like to improve on.

"Fielding-wise, I'm really happy. But at the plate I need to get more mental discipline and that comes from showing up everyday to play," Heathcott said.

Having only played in three games in the GCL in 2009, this is Heathcott's first experience in the long-season leagues. He admits that the toughest challenge that he faces is the daily grind of coming to the field and showing up to play. But he has handled it well so far and has received nothing but high praise from his coaches.

Turner believes that Heathcott's greatest strength is his athleticism.

"He's got many [strengths]. He's very athletic, has good bat speed, and good power. He plays the game with intensity and is just a fun guy to work with cause he works hard," said Turner.

The RiverDog coaches are not concerned at all with the dip in Heathcott's batting average.

"He's got to play some games and get a feel how pitchers are going to work him. He needs to make in game adjustments, which will be big for him," Turner explained.

"He's doing a lot of good things. He has good athleticism, so a lot of the mistakes he makes he will be able to correct with athleticism," he added.

RiverDogs manager Greg Colbrunn believes that by continuing to play every day, Heathcott will get to where he needs to be as a player.

"Watching him play every day has been great," Colbrunn observed. "We just need to give him some time."

Heathcott has one short and simple goal for the second half of the season, "to just keep playing hard." With that as his goal, good things should continue to happen for this talented player.

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