Cubs see last year's top pick Howard making good progress

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2014 file photo, Chicago's Ed Howard celebrates after his team won 7-5 over Las Vegas to win the U.S. final baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

    FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2014 file photo, Chicago's Ed Howard celebrates after his team won 7-5 over Las Vegas to win the U.S. final baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

 
 
Updated 7/7/2021 9:23 PM

Because of the pandemic, MLB delayed the 2021 draft for about a month. The first round will be held Sunday.

Besides being able to scout draft prospects in person this year, Cubs scouting director Dan Kantrovitz has also enjoyed finally getting to watch last year's top pick, Chicago native Ed Howard, in action.

 

Like most of last year's draftees, Howard couldn't play competitive baseball in 2020. He joined the Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the spring, missed some time with an injury, and has hit .257 in eight games since getting back on the field.

"Now that I can actually see him play, it's been exciting to follow him," Kantrovitz said. "He's electric and it's been awesome to watch him play and he's right on track. You go from essentially being a junior in high school -- that was his last competitive season -- to then going to full season (minor-league) baseball.

"Being in a spot where he's still finding his groove, it's not surprising. I don't think anybody thinks any different of him now than when we did when we drafted him."

Howard was the No. 16 overall pick in 2020 out of Mt. Carmel High School. This year, the Cubs have the No. 21 overall pick in the first round.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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