The Cleveland Indians picked up right-handed pitching prospect Dillon Howard in the second round of the draft last year, and they made no mistake by doing so.
Baseball America ranked Howard as the No. 2 prospect in the Indians' organization for the 2012 season. At the young age of 19, he has a great deal of promise and quite a future ahead of him.
In his first high school appearance on the mound as a pitcher, he was clocked at 92 mph. In 2008, he often reached 95 mph while pitching for Searcy High School in Arkansas.
Demonstrating some all-around athleticism, he hit a home run at his first at-bat in high school.
When Howard releases the ball, he appears to throw without much effort while still reaching high speeds. He has excellent control targeting pitches at different spots of the strike zone.
For someone so young with no professional experience, he is quickly developing his pitching mechanics and becoming an intelligent pitcher, instead of just a high school thrower.
Howard's curveball sits at about 78 mph, and his slider reaches about 82 mph. His changeup tends to be in the low-80s, and he has not worked much on that pitch. While in development in the minor leagues, pitching coaches will likely assist him to refine his already effective pitches and gain more speed and power.
Howard played multiple positions in high school, mostly in the infield. He has strength and stamina with an arsenal of talent. Much of that talent is still raw right now, but with three years or so of development in the minor leagues, he has the presence to become a powerful pitcher for Cleveland down the road.
This is one prospect that we don't hear much about right now, but his name will begin to come up in another year. Keep an eye on Howard.
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