08/30/2009 - College PREP - Nashville, TN
Michael worked hard and showed improvement with his overall baseball skills. In the OF, had active feet which allowed him to take proper angles to ground balls. Showed the ability to get behind fly balls and play thru them with a quick release. Is in proper throwing position as he made accurate throws. Stringent long toss program will improve velocity. Would like to see him to stay low and be aggressive playing thru ground balls. At the plate, tracked the ball well which allowed him to have above average barrel accuracy. Showed decent use of lower half as he hit balls to all fields. Proper load will allow him to get hands moving quicker and generate more bat speed. On the mound, had good tempo and direction to the plate which allowed him to throw strikes with all of his pitches. Worked from an over-the-top arm slot. Would like to see him keep his eyes on target at all times. Generated good glove side lead which allowed him to have loose arm action. CH showed as best off-speed pitch. Had good feel for it and ball had arm-side run.
01/16/2009 - Under Armour Preseason All America - 2009
Michael continues show improved abilities in his baseball play. Arm strength improved as he topped out at 79 mph and showed improved carry on his throws from the OF. He does need to get on a strict long toss program to aid in building more arm strength and raise velocities. Defensive abilities have also improved now showing near above average ability. Hands and feet work well together through his defensive play. On the mound, he showed his best changeup with solid feel. At the plate, hitting grades will improve quickly with instruction and adjustments at the plate. Power numbers will increase as more overall body strength is developed. Howard has abilities with a lot of room to continue to improve.
12/27/2008 - Christmas Camp and Tournament - 2008
Howard took good routes and angles to balls in the outfield, allowing him to cover good ground. His arm has gotten a little stronger, but he can still work to improve his exchange and quicken his release. At the plate, he hit the ball up the middle and the other way well and showed a good two strike approach. His stroke was level, and he did a good job of getting on top. On the mound, he threw his fastball between 74 and 75. His curve was better than we had seen before, and his arm worked better than we saw before. He was around the plate for the most part, thanks to a mostly sound delivery. Overall, he simply needs to get stronger - has a solid set of skills to build on as he physically matures.
07/05/2008 - Team One South 2008
Michael increased his hitting grade. He was 1-4 with a BB and HBP. At the plate, has an opposite field approach. Had good setup which help lead to lots of line drives. Needs to utilize lower half better and increased overall strength will help produce pop. On the mound, threw 1st pitches strikes to get ahead of hitters. Showed loose action with good separation and ability to hide ball from hitter. Was long to plate which allowed runners to steal 2B. He can utilize his lower half better. Long toss will help improve arm strength and velo. In the OF, throws had an arc because he was leading with elbow. He also fell off to side after throw instead of following thru towards target. At times, his feet and hands worked well together.
06/19/2008 - Omaha Pro Select Training and Tournament - 2008
Michael has excellent work habits which showed with a better 60-time. At the plate, shows good bat speed with average power. Has a great up-the-middle/opposite field approach at the plate. Stays within himself and is a good base runner. Will become a complete hitter when he can identify off-speed pitches quicker and make necessary adjustments. In the OF, shows good range because he takes appropriate route to ball and reads well off bat. Would like to see him be more vocal when going after the ball.