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Howard is the top prep shortstop in a light high school class at the position and midwest area scouts should have good history with him considering he played alongside D-backs’ second-round pick Alek Thomas (2018) as an underclassman at Mount Carmel (Ill.) High. Howard wowed scouts as a junior in Perfect Game’s Jupiter WWBA tournament, showing high-level ability on both sides of the ball. While he has upside as a hitter, the polished part of Howard’s game comes from his glove. He’s a no-doubt shortstop at the next level as a solid athlete with reliable hands and a strong, accurate throwing arm. He moves fluidly in the middle of the diamond and has the ability to throw from all angles with excellent body control and a solid internal clock. In the 2020 class, he’s the clear-cut top prep defender at the position and has the potential to be a plus defensive shortstop in the big leagues . The one critique in his defensive game is that scouts would like to see better foot speed. He’s a solid runner, but not a burner by any means. Scouts will have to project more on Howard’s offensive game, particularly after not seeing him in games this season. He shows all the tools you want to see, with good bat speed, some bat-to-ball skill and a lithe, 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame that has plenty of room to add more muscle and impact ability. At present he’s more of a gap-to-gap, line-drive type hitter, but scouts want to see him refine his approach. He did a nice job of progressing throughout the summer in 2019 and showing he can make adjustments, but teams are still waiting for him to put it all together. While he is committed to Oklahoma, it’s rare for the top high school shortstop to not go in the first round, and a team that buys into his upside could jump on him in the middle or back half of the first round.