Chicago Cubs’ Ed Howard and all other minor league players need to find a way to continue getting reps.
The Chicago Cubs’ Ed Howard (according to ESPN) is the first position player from the state of Illinois drafted out of high school in the first round since the Washington National great, Jayson Worth. The “hometown kid” has already won the hearts of baseball fans in Chicago with his 2014 Little League World Series run and is being placed in decent company before he even sees his first professional baseball experience.
The aforementioned much-needed experience will be delayed by at least one year with the cancelation of Minor League Baseball’s 2020 season. The lack of reps from a regular minor league season hurts seniors that are drafted out of high school even more since high school baseball was also shelved in most states due to CDC guidelines. Unfortunately, for Howard and all other top prospects, the “Road to the Show” is going to look a little more complicated than usual, or at the very least, delayed a year.
Minor League Baseball had been in the talks of cutting around forty teams long before we had even heard about COVID-19 (Baseball America). Now that the entire season has been canceled and the loss of revenue is going to be astronomical, the future of Minor League Baseball is entirely up in the air.
As we await the next steps for the Minors and its ball clubs, Howard and all other minor leaguers are left without live game action, practices, reps, and even interactions with coaches. An entire year of player development is down the drain, and with the shape the MiLB was already in, you know that, as unfortunate as it is, there will be an even longer break for a lot of great players in the minors.
Players drafted this season, like the Mount Carmel star, have to find a way to stay focused and grind through the missed season and hope for the best news concerning the 2021 season.
I can not wait until Howard’s (hopeful) first major league at-bat in a Cubs uniform. One of the top shortstop prospects in the draft belongs to the beloved Cubbies. Any MLB debut is exciting, but the debut of the top of the hometown’s top prospect is even more exciting. Debuts are one of the most beautiful aspects of this fascinating pastime.
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Although thousands of minor leaguers never make it to the major’s simple math puts at least 1,000 of those, if not more, being forced to hang up the cleats way too early in the upcoming years if the cutting of 40+ teams is true. If Cub’s prospects are affected or not, the thought of anyone being forced into giving up the game before they are ready to give it up is incredibly heartbreaking.