The back of the first round this year features a couple of high-upside prep righties in 6-foot-5, 235-pound Jose Fernandez (Alonso HS, FL) and Searcy HS’s (AR) Dillon Howard.
I had the opportunity to see Howard throw last summer for the Midland Redskins, and he was quite dominant. Howard flashed mid-90s a few times and consistently worked in the 91-93 mph range with an easy, athletic delivery and good sink. He showed a quality 12-6 curveball that featured plenty of tilt to get right-handed hitters out. He did not really feature a usable third pitch, but his athleticism suggests that he should pick one up with time. Howard is 6-foot-2 and 195-pounds and projects well physically. Considering there is at least a chance he slips into the supplementary round, I would not be surprised if he comes associated with a great deal of signability risk headed into June. He is committed to Arkansas and has a chance to open the spring as their Friday-nighter.