With the MLB draft just around the corner, we’re going to take a look at top draft prospects that the Brewers might consider. In this edition, we take a look at the shortstop out of Mount Carmel (IL), Ed Howard.
It is possible that you Brewers fans remember Ed Howard from the 2014 Little League World Series. Howard was a member of the Jackie Robinson West team that lost in the championship to Seoul Little League of Seoul, South Korea. Despite losing in the championship, Howard’s team was the first Illinois team to qualify for the championship since North Roseland in 1967.
Since little league, Howard has become accustomed to playing on the big stage. He has played in the Under Armor All American Game at Wrigley Field, national high school team invites, and national showcases. When asked about being on the big stage, he was quoted saying “Now people try to put pressure on everybody about college and the draft and scouts watching everything, so I just always try to stay relaxed and have fun. Just remember those days when I was 11 playing for fun”.
To add to the pressure, Howard could be the first position player taken out of Illinois in the first round since Jayson Werth in 1997. MLB.com currently has Howard listed as the 15th best prospect. Howard currently is committed to play baseball at Oklahoma, but if given the chance play professionally it seems likely he will go that route.
Howard is currently 6’2″ and 185 lbs. He is described as a smooth player on both sides of the ball with some athleticism and ability to make defensive players at various angles due to a strong throwing arm. If he adds strength during his development, he could become an above average power hitter, but is currently most known for his ability to make consistent hard contact with elite level bat speed.
With the draft shortening to just five rounds this year, it is unknown if high school prospects will fall down draft boards. If so, the Brewers could take him with the 20th pick to help add organizational depth at the position. After trading top shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon in 2019, a lot of pressure has been put on Brice Turang who is the current No.1 prospect in the Brewers organization. Eduardo Garcia, a Venezuelan signee and next-best shortstop, is the current No. 7 prospect at 17 years old, but has not played at a level higher than the Dominican Summer League.
Adding a talent like Ed Howard would be great for the Brewers who are in desperate need of restocking their minor league system with talent. The Brewers do love adding up-the-middle players with solid hit tools. However, with the White Sox picking 11th in this years MLB draft and the Cubs picking 16th, it will be interesting to see if those teams want to keep this Chicago talent local or if they let him slide by.
The MLB Draft begins on June 10th and we’ll continue to profile possible Milwaukee Brewers selections here at Reviewing the Brew.