No surprise here. Spencer Howard is the Phillies candidate for the 2020 ROY award according to MLB.com. We had the privilege of watching him pitch a couple of gems last season in Clearwater and wondered what he was doing in the Florida State League. He simply had too much stuff for the FSL.
It is looking more and more like 202o will be the coming out party for Howard. He pitched to raving reviews by the MLB.com minor league experts who watched him pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
He was initially listed on the Premier12 Team USA 2020 Olympic qualifying roster on October 10 in Baseball America. Later his name was removed from the list and he never made it to last weekend’s first round of the tournament in Mexico. He was described in that Baseball America’s account of the roster below:
“Howard quickly emerged as one of baseball’s top pitching prospects after the Phillies drafted him in the second round in 2017. He currently ranks No. 55 on the BA Top 100. Howard blows hitters away with a lively, mid-90s fastball that reaches triple digits, and he backs it up with a deep-breaking slider that is a put-away pitch.”
Now, Howard has been selected by MLBPipeline as the Phillies candidate for next year’s Rookie of the Year award. Read Below:
“Phillies: Spencer Howard, RHP (No. 2/MLB No. 88) – Howard missed two months in 2019 with shoulder soreness, but showed perhaps the best overall stuff in the Arizona Fall League, a repertoire that could get big league hitters out right now. He’ll need to continue working on his command and might need a bit more time in the upper Minors to start 2020, but it’s easy to see a scenario where his domination of Triple-A hitters leads to a lot of starts in the big leagues.”
Look for Howard to get a lot of starting pitching opportunities in spring camp. Since he was taken off the Olympic roster, we can see him making the Phillies starting five-man rotation directly out of spring training.
With a Phillies team in desperate need of starting pitching, all eyes will be on Spencer Howard in Grapefruit League starts. They will be must see spring training games!