Pirates sign Justin Howard

According to an official release, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 24th round draft pick Justin Howard.  Howard, a senior from the University of New Mexico, hit for a .456 average in his senior season, with ten homers in 261 at-bats.

Howard injured his left knee in a collision in an NCAA Regional Finals game against Minnesota, which Howard claims caused his stock to drop.  Howard said he was hearing he could go in the top ten rounds before the injury.  Howard didn’t have much leverage as a college senior, so it’s unlikely this affected the signing, but the long term results probably were a factor.

Howard doesn’t hit for much power, but is an excellent hitter.  As a first baseman with poor defense, his bat is his only skill.  Howard will have to hit for a good average to be considered any type of prospect for the Pirates, due to the lack of power.  He will likely start in either the GCL, or with State College.

An interesting note on Howard: he played JuCo with Pirates prospect Brock Holt at Navarro College, where the two players were roommates.

The draft pick signing tracker is updated with the move.  The Pirates have now signed 11 picks.

UPDATE 5:21 PM: A note on Howard’s numbers, he played in a very hitter friendly park, which led to a boost in his statistics.  Howard had a .456/.508/.709 line with New Mexico, but his park adjusted stat line (thanks to College Splits) was .410/.468/.640.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Moskos, Presley to AAA; Stevenson to A-

Next Story »

Pirates demote Brandon Jones, sign Yung Chi Chen

Latest Analysis

  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    12 hours ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    1 day ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    1 day ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    2 days ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    3 days ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    3 days ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement