Howard to Addison: Wrigley Field only a few stops away for hometown star
The question posed by Dan Kantrovitz, the Cubs VP of scouting, may as well have been another grounder at Haggerty Field on the campus of Mount Carmel High School.
“How would you feel being a hometown draft pick?”
Like the countless ground balls Cubs first round pick Ed Howard fielded at the South Side school, Howard handled it with just as much composure as conviction.
“I wanted to be a hometown kid,” Howard told Kantrovitz and the Cubs’ brass. “I’m ready to take on that challenge.”
On a conference call with local media, Howard’s confidence and poise pierced through the phone. It’s the kind of confidence that can assure Cubs fans that he has the potential to climb the organizational ladder quickly.
After all, Baseball America had Howard listed as the best shortstop available in the Draft.
“I feel I deserved to be the best shortstop,” Howard said. “I’m just glad it’s being acknowledged.”
After Wednesday night’s first round in which Howard was taken 16th by the Cubs, he took another big step of making his dream to be a hometown kid playing in the big leagues come true.
Sure, there’s doubt about the 2020 minor league season and Howard and the Cubs haven’t agreed to terms yet, but when they do, it’s hard not to believe Howard when he speaks of his preparedness.
“I’m ready to get to work,” Howard said. “I think it’ll be a great experience.”
If Howard can reach the big leagues with the Cubs, he doesn’t just want to be known for his play on the field. Howard has struck up a friendship with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and has seen the off-the-field work in the community that he’s done and believes that’s just as important as any home runs he will hit.
“I’ve gotten closer to him and I see how he does things on the South Side of Chicago and I just want to imitate that and bring that to the North Side,” Howard said. “That’s something I’m big on.”
But Howard is well aware there’s plenty to do before he can even think about fielding grounders at Wrigley Field as a Cub.
“I’m ready to take on that challenge and have fun and play my game,” Howard said. “I look forward to the future. It’s gonna be a special opportunity. I couldn’t be any happier.”