Phillies prospect Spencer Howard dominates in Double-A debut
One of the Phillies top prospects made a big entrance in his latest debut.
There was a lot of buzz when the Phillies promoted pitching prospect Spencer Howard to Double-A Reading for Friday night’s start. Some speculated it’s curious timing considering the trade deadline, but the Phillies have held Howard very close in recent trade conversations.
The reason why they’ve held onto him so strongly showed Friday night in his Reading debut against New Hampshire.
On the road, Howard struck out 10 batters in 4.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks. Reading would take the loss when reliever Jonathan Hennigan allowed four runs in two and a third innings in a 5-1 loss.
Howard reportedly topped out at 98 MPH with electric stuff according to Jim Salisbury of NBCS Philadelphia. The 2017 second round pick out of Cal Poly had a wicked curveball in the game as well en route to his second double-digit strikeout game this year.
Several teams tried to pry Howard from the Phillies this offseason, but they resisted every time, even in the J.T. Realmuto trade.
Howard and 2018 first round pick Alec Bohm sound like the organizations only untouchable prospects entering the trade deadline, where general manager Matt Klentak has tampered expectations with the club likely fighting for a one-game wild card spot.
Howard and Bohm could help the Phillies as early as this September if they continue to dominate in Reading, but next season both are likely to make their major league debuts at one point or another.
Bohm, projected to replace Maikel Franco at third base, went 1-4 with three strikeouts and an RBI in Howard’s debut but has 14 home runs between Lakewood, Clearwater, and Reading this year.
Keep an eye on Howard as he progresses through the organization. He could finally be the pitching prospect fans have been waiting for.