Cincinnati Reds Prospect Profile: RHP Nick Howard


Next up on our list of the Cincinnati Reds‘ top prospects is right-handed pitcher Nick Howard.

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Name: Nick Howard

Age: 22

Position: RHP

Acquired: 1st-round pick in 2014 amateur draft

Highest Level: Single-A Dayton Dragons

2014 Statistics (minors): 2-1, 3.74 ERA,  1.158 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9


The Reds drafted Nick Howard out of the University of Virginia with their first-round pick in 2014, and though he excelled as the Cavaliers’ closer, Cincinnati moved him into a long relief role last summer with the Dayton Dragons.  After stretching him out a bit with six relief appearances, Dragons’ manager Jose Nieves moved Howard to the starting rotation, and that appears to be where the Reds’ want the youngster in the long term.

Working with pitching coach Tom Browning, Howard racked up 33.2 innings split between the bullpen and the rotation, crafting a 2-1 record with a 3.74 ERA.  He struck out 23 but also walked 11 and gave up four home runs, which projects to something like 66 walks and 24 home runs over a 200-inning season. In other words, Howard has some work to do in terms of control and keeping the ball in the park, but he will be entering just his first full professional season in 2015, so time is on his side.

The scouting report on Howard is that he is a power arm with a decent slider and a developing change-up.  If he can master the off-speed stuff, Howard’s strikeout numbers could grow in a hurry, as his fastball sits in the 95-97 mph range.

Look for him to start the season in Dayton or High-A Bakersfield.

Riverfront ETA: 2018

Next: Cincinnati Reds Prospect Profile: OF Phil Ervin

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