Counting Down Top 30 Rockies Prospects: No. 12 Sam Howard
12. Sam Howard, lhp
Born: 3/5/1993. B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 170. Drafted: Georgia Southern, 2014 (3rd round). Signed by: Alan Matthews.
Howard is an acquired taste. He isn’t one of those guys who steps on the mound and overpowers. He is a pitcher, and he has proven since his high school days that he can adjust over the course of a season. He doesn’t back down from a challenge, which was evident his junior year in college when after early season struggles he was moved into the No. 3 starter role. He bounced back strong and wound up the 82nd player selected in the draft that year. The Rockies worked to balance his delivery after signing him and it has impacted his command. It also was a factor in his velocity jumping from the upper 80s to 91-to-94 miles per hour with sink since his signing. He compliments it with a back foot slider that has the late, hard break, and an excellent change with fade. His ability to pitcher right-handers in and change speeds has allowed him to actually be more effective against right-handed hitters, which is critical for a starting pitcher. Having split the 2017 season between Double-A and Triple-A the expectation is he will be ready to step in at the big-league level sometime during the coming season.