Phillies Take Cal Poly RHP Spencer Howard with the 45th Pick
Phillies Scouting Director Johnny Almaraz said they liked this year’s college pitching crop, and they used their second pick to dip into that group. Howard was not rated highly by public scouting sources with MLB Pipeline coming in the highest at #99. The Phillies came right out and called him a potential front line starter.
Scouting director Johnny Almaraz called Howard a "power right-hander" with the "chance to be a frontline starter." More coming…
— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) June 13, 2017
This would put them much higher on him than the public sources. The general consensus is that he sits 92-94 touching 96 and that he has good slider and then a usable cutter and changeup. Many seen him as a reliever, and potentially a quick moving one.
The Phillies may see more upside in Howard, who has only pitched for two years and was 84-85 when he stepped onto campus. He was also dominant this year pitching 87.2 innings with a 1.95 ERA, 23 BB, and 97 K. The more logical conclusion is that the Phillies liked Howard’s arm, but also wanted to save some money for later picks, but we will need to see how his bonus shakes out after the draft. The Phillies expect him (and Haseley) to sign quickly and debut for Lakewood.