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Recent mock draft has Ed Howard falling to Cardinals

The prep shotstop might be a steal at 21

High School All-Star Game Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The news of the shortened draft is unsettling at best. Only five rounds puts extra emphasis on getting talent early, and finding talent in the undrafted free agent pool. One side effect of the draft information being officially released is that mock drafts will start pouring out.

Since the St. Louis Cardinals are picking out of the 21 spot, there isn’t going to be an obvious choice. The front office M.O. is to wait to see what talent drops to them. Well, in ESPNs recent mock, the Redbirds get some really nice talent.

Kiley McDaniel dropped his first mock and he has the Cardinals selecting SS Ed Howard from Mount Caramel High School in Illinois. This is the same school that produced top Arizona Diamondbacks top prospect Alek Thomas.

That would be a dream. Howard is one of the more talented prep players in the class. McDaniel cites injury concerns as the reason for his slide.

“Howard is sliding a bit, as clubs are worried about a shoulder issue and how it may affect his throwing and thus his ultimate position.”

The general consensus for Howard is that he is a top 15 pick, so if he falls to the Cardinals that gives them a very talented bat.

He’s ranked 15th on MLB Pipeline.

“Using a simple right-handed swing and a calm approach, Howard makes repeated hard contact. He has impressive bat speed and a projectable 6-foot-2 frame that continues to add strength, so he could develop average or better power. He has solid speed and uses it well on the bases.”

They like him defensively too. Howard has a smooth glove, and barring anything unforeseen with the injury, he should be able to stay there. The odds of him dropping down to 21 seem very unlikely.

Baseball America paints it as more likely with Howard being ranked 20th. Carlos Colazzo praises Howard’s defensive abilities.

“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.”

Scouting reports are kind to Howard’s ability. The question is, would the Cardinals be able to pull the trigger on Ed Howard?

The answer is a resounding yes. Shout it from the mountain top. Get the pick in before the dream is over.

Historically the St. Louis likes to go with the best available player at the draft. That has been a double-edged sword at times. But even in the case of a guy like Delvin Perez, he was the choice at the time. In this case, that would net the Cardinals Howard.

The injury might be another detractor to Howard. Let’s go back to a year ago when the Cardinals took a shot on the injury-riddled history of Zack Thompson. The point being the regime won’t shy away from the talent if it’s there.

Howard would be a really nice addition to the farm system. If he falls, the Cardinals should absolutely draft him, without question. The likelihood of this scenario isn’t great. But Kiley is a very smart guy and if he sees it happening, it can’t be discounted. At minimum, it adds intrigue for Redbird faithful to what’s been an unfortunate turn of events for the MLB Draft.