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Prospect Spotlight: What Are the Cubs Getting With Ed Howard?

Ed Howard was the best possible pick for the Cubs at #16.

Photo: MLB Network

On Wednesday evening, the Chicago Cubs selected local product Ed Howard with the 16th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. It’s safe to say that fans are excited about the Mount Carmel High School standout staying in the city of Chicago. Howard himself took to Twitter after the pick.

Howard is quite familiar with the ballclubs of Chicago. Growing up, he was involved in the White Sox ACE program, which has been a part of the Chicago community for quite some time. The White Sox themselves congratulated their alum after he was selected.

As the graphic shows, there have been numerous players selected in the MLB Draft with roots in the ACE program. The White Sox have cooked up something special on the South Side, and that is commendable.

On-Field Tools

After Howard was selected last night, he mentioned how crazy the year has been and how excited he is to be a Cub. He was asked about being passed up by the White Sox, but Howard is just excited to start playing baseball.

“Not at all, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed. The White Sox, you know, that’s their pick. They did what they thought was best. Do I agree with them? No, but I’m excited to be with the Cubs.”

Howard’s confidence is unrivaled, which is certainly something that all young players need. If you want to succeed and ultimately make it to the top, you need to have confidence in your abilities. Howard has that.

The talent is there. Fans can see that. He hits well, profiles with an MLB-ready glove, and will continue to add to his 6-foot-2 frame. As he does, he will add power and fill out as an even more complete hitter. However, he is already showing he can hit to all fields.

Cubs VP of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz has expressed the Cubs’ excitement to land Howard. The Cubs didn’t think Howard would fall to them at #16, but it’s safe to say they’re thrilled it panned out.

Kantrovitz said that Howard has a smooth swing and will be a true shortstop for the Cubs. Howard has also been considered the best defender in this draft. So, what does Jeff Passan have to say about the pick?

That’s an encouraging statement from a pro scout.

Off the Field

The real reason Cubs fans should be excited about Howard is the character that Howard has. Dan Kantrovitz recalled their Zoom meeting with the Mount Carmel product, noting he was wearing his glove during the conversation. Another video also surfaced right before the draft, showing Howard lifting weights and throwing around some meaningful weight.

Howard’s work ethic is no joke. This is something that will allow Howard to translate into a big leaguer. Howard also sat down with Jim Thome to discuss being a role model for younger players that will be looking up to the newest Cub, much in the way that Howard admires White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.

This is what sets the pick apart. Howard, being a local kid, is going to inspire numerous youngsters in the city of Chicago to play baseball and follow in his footsteps. Howard is in a position to be a leader and ensure that baseball doesn’t die as a sport in the United States.

In addition, Howard “is a winner,” per Mount Carmel’s head coach Brian Hurry. The Caravan skipper had the opportunity to see Howard grow as a player, and a great article by Jon Morosi sums up Howard’s leadership qualities.

Cubs fans, be excited. Howard is not only a great baseball prospect, but he’s an incredible young man. He is a Tim Anderson or Anthony Rizzo in terms of leadership. Those are the players that stand out and allow ballclubs to succeed for years. They are the heart and soul of the team. Howard is hopefully going to be a staple on the Chicago Cubs in a few years.

Enjoy the celebration after Howard heard his name. His friends and family are cheering for him now, but someday, 30,000-plus at Wrigley will be cheering in the same manner.

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Work as an accountant by day. Huge Chicago sports fan. Played college football and only wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. Twitter: @rnldluce Instagram: @rnldluce

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