The perception of Yankees prospect Slade Heathcott took a wild ride on Friday the 13th. In Gene Sapakoff's tremendous article in The Post and Courier, we learned about Heathcott's troubled past ranging from pulling a shot gun on his father to some rather extreme alcohol abuse both in high school and with the Yankees. Eventually, with assistance from the Yankees, Heathcott got the help he needed for his alcohol demons and appears to have righted the ship. It's a great story and I can't recommend the article enough.
Heathcott came into the season as the Yankees number 8 prospect according to ESPN's Keith Law. In 32 games for Single A Charleston, the 20-year-old outfielder is hitting .312/.396/.504 with 3 home runs and 11 doubles. But on Friday, the same day the article on his salvation came out, he ran into a little trouble at the ballpark.
Heathcott was hit with the second pitch of the game and promptly attacked the opposing team's (Red Sox affiliate Greenville) catcher. Which led to the following bench-clearing brawl...
That was a pretty sweet double leg takedown Heathcott snuck in there as the catcher was trying to get away. Also, I'm pretty sure I saw a guillotine choke applied by somebody. I'd hate to wildly speculate (that's a lie, I love it) but I can't imagine that it was just a coincidence that the article and brawl occurred on the same day. I bet the catcher said something to incite Heathcott's violent reaction aside from calling for a fastball up and in.
But that's just a guess. Heathcott might just be really embracing his Yankeeness and felt the need to deck the Red Sox minor league catcher while yelling, "This is for Zimmer!" Either way, I hope this is just an isolated incident and Heathcott stays on the path of a feel good story.