No. 20: Spencer Howard
The Phillies made a surprising selection with their second-round pick this year, drafting righty Spencer Howard from Cal Poly Luis Obispo. Howard was viewed as more of a third-round pick, but he was selected No. 45 overall.
A small sample size balooned many of Howard’s stats, but for the most part he looked pretty good in Williamsport.
Cooper broke down how Howard used his large arsenal to take advantage of the relatively inexperienced hitters in the New York-Penn League:
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"Two bad innings in two bad outings blew up Howard’s ERA, but generally he looked more advanced than the league, showing off a varied four/five-pitch mix. Howard doesn’t really have a true put-away pitch, but he keeps hitters off-balance by throwing a wide variety of solid offerings. Howard’s 90-94 mph fastball is hard to square as he has some natural deception thanks to a cross-fire delivery and his ability to manipulate the pitch, cutting it or running it as needed. His changeup could end up being a plus pitch while his curveball should end up being at least average. He mixes in a fringier slider as a change of pace and sometimes it ends up dissolving into a true cutter. Howard does a good job of staying on-time in his delivery and uses his lower half well, giving him a chance to move quickly as a relatively polished back-end starter."
All of the prospects on this list are still a few years from the majors, but they are doing pretty well early in their minor-league career.