The draft is just seven days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some players individually rather than lump a few together in one post.
Dillon Howard | RHP
The best draft prospect in Arkansas, Howard has been on the radar for a long time thanks to his consistently impressive performances at showcase events and with summer traveling teams. He hasn’t had a great senior year at Searcy High School, but no one gets drafted based on high school stats. He’s committed to Arkansas.
A 6-foot-3, 200 lb. right-hander, Howard has pitched consistently at 91-94 with a fastball that runs in on righties, and he’s gotten it up as high as 96 in the past. He could legitimately sit in the mid-90’s once he’s done growing. Howard’s breaking ball is inconsistent, resembling a curveball on some days and a slider on others, but he’s certainly shown the ability to make the ball spin. His changeup is very much a work in progress, as is his overall command despite a sound delivery. Howard is an athletic kid that played all over the infield in high school, and his passion for the game shows in his play.
Last week we heard that the Yankees are “heavily in” on Howard, who is supposedly asking for big bucks to skip out on the Razorbacks. The kid has a chance for a big time fastball with a power breaking ball, which are instant tools for success. Howard has significant upside, and adding a changeup will give him true top of the rotation ability. The draft class is deep enough that teams unwilling to meet his asking price will have viable alternatives, so it’s not impossible that he could still be around when the Yankees pick at number 51.