2014 MLB Draft Profile- Slade Heggen, C, Loyola Sacred Heart HS (MT)

An athletic backstop from the great white north, Heggen is a top sleeper in this year's catching crop.

Summary

Slade Heggen has a great baseball name, and he breaks the scale athletically. Every measureable collected is incredibly impressive, and shows a player with potential in all five of his tools. He comes in at 6'0", and has added good weight gradually throughout his HS career, currently nearing 200 lbs. He can be seen on Youtube lifting huge amounts of weight, and performing an NFL-quality 36" vertical leap to showcase his explosiveness (for comparison, All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green posted a vertical of 34.5" at the combine in his draft year). Heggen has been clocked in the mid-6.7s in the 60 yard dash, absurd for the catcher position (another comparison- Nick Gordon runs in the mid-6.6s). Heggen is also a sharp kid- he has a 4.0 GPA and scored a very strong 29 on his ACT. He will be 6 months from his 19th birthday on draft day.

Heggen is more than just a workout warrior, though. His defensive skills are impressive for a high schooler- he uses his explosive lower half to get out of his crouch with burst and has a strong arm behind the dish, producing throws with velocity over 80 MPH and pop times as good as 1.85 seconds. His throwing release is pretty and he needs far less work behind the dish than the last catcher I profiled- Evan Skoug- though his pitch framing may not be as advanced at this stage. Heggen has also played the outfield, but he should be able to hang behind the dish as a professional, which greatly bolsters his value.

At the plate, Heggen has present gap power and a line-drive approach. He has a quiet lower body during his swing, and some impressive bat speed. He had experimented with switch hitting in the past, but his swing from the left side never looked as comfortable and he scrapped it, now batting righty full-time. His arm action in his swing is easy and loose. He hits the ball with authority and squares it up well. He uses his hips to generate some power and could project for average power down the line. He has a few things to clean up in his swing- I'd like to see him start his hands a bit lower to take some of the unnecessary length out of his swing, and he has a tendency to lean towards the mound as he steps into the ball, but overall I like his hitting approach. He looks comfortable at the plate, and he's still growing into his frame, suggesting there could be a lot of untapped potential for him as a hitter, even as he is totally decimating the competition as a high schooler.

MLB Projection

Heggen has the potential to be an impressive player on both sides of the ball, and could be a regular at catcher.

Projected Draft Round

Based on talent alone, Heggen could go in the first 3-5 rounds of the draft as things stand currently, but could rise as teams bring him in for individual workouts.

College Commitment

Oregon

Will He Sign?

He'll probably require overslot money, as commitments to Oregon tend to be pretty strong.

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