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SoCal ProCase Spotlight: 1B Cole Howarth


Jack Shannon
San Diego Area Scout

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FULLERTON, CA. - Cole Howarth showcased a modern day power producing approach at the plate that he backed up with ideal power metric ranges. The uncommitted first baseman put his name on notice early when he clocked a 7.01 60 yard dash reading at 6-foot-5 215 pounds. Howarth’s physical and projectable build looked good in the PBR - California ProCase uniform, looking the part of a future division 1 and professional first baseman. Howarth’s batting practice home run at 355 ft with a 30.5° launch angle and 91.6 mph exit velocity helped strengthen his case for significant down the line power projection. 

 

Blast Motion and TrackMan metrics showed quality metric averages across the board, a good starting point for a power hitter his age but with room for improvement. The bat speed, on plane efficiency, vertical bat angle and launch angle average project well for power down the line. With 67 representatives from 22 MLB Organizations in attendance, some teams 2-3 deep, and the talent on the SoCal ProCase roster, Howarth set out to show that his 93rd overall ranking and 3rd overall first baseman in the Golden State is for real and worthy of a division 1 commitment on the west coast sooner rather than later. 

 

THE REPORT:

Body: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds. Has a large, sturdy frame with room for more. Long limbs and broad shoulders project well for down the line power. Sneak athleticism evident in his 7.01 60-yard dash posting, the fastest at the ProCase for players 6-foot-4 and above. Footwork needs some work. 

Hit: Right-handed hitter. Hitting set up; wide athletic stance, bat and hands are relaxed pre-pitch, sets up with his hands shoulder height before loading back and below shoulder height, shifts weight back before loading with light leg lift and strong landing. Demonstrates excellent leverage with a high hand finish and clean follow through. Howarth batting practice resulted in the majority of his hits to left-center field. Produces good back spin and loft on the ball. Bat speed averaged 70.9 mph according to Blast Motion data. Bat speed metric currently shows that he is able to propel his bat at contact at the average ideal range for a major league, minor league and collegiate baseball player. Howarth posted a solid on plane efficiency percentage of 70% and connection at impact of 80°. Both metrics fall in the ideal ranges for a hitter and project well for future success. Howarth's rotational acceleration average of 6.9 g is a cause for concern, one of the lowest at the event and below average for his level, showing that Howarth takes a bit longer to reach peak acceleration, common with arm dominant swings and for someone of his stature. 

Power: Howarth's approach shows that of a modern power swing, with the goal to launch the ball in the air and hit home runs. Trackman data shows that his average exit speed is 85.19 mph, with exit speed contact averages highest on pitches down the middle. Launch angle average of 33.59° shows that he hits the ball in the air at a very high rate. Indicating he currently has home run hitting ability and will continue to down the line. However, the average is outside the ideal range and likely will result in a low batting average. The vertical bat angle average of -30° falls between the ideal range and is another metric that helps support his current and down the line power potential. Blasted two balls at an impressive clip: 94.5 mph exit speed - 22.1° launch angle - 348ft, 91.6 mph - 30.5° launch angle - 355ft. 

Field: Solid fielding first-baseman that knows the position well. Picked well and showed correct fundamentals in doing so. Footwork was choppy at times and in need of next level training. 7.01 60-yard dash reading elevates his defensive profile and could enable him to play left-field as well. 

Arm: Infield arm velocity reading of 72 mph, 11 out of 11. Arm is average for a high school player and would benefit from a velocity increase at the next level. Throwing mechanics were solid but has room for more lower half engagement and a quicker arm path. Throws to second and third were on target and released with a high and short arm path. When charging the ball, put himself in the right position and didn’t rush his throw. 

Run: 7.01 60 yard dash, 6th overall. Solid running mechanics, keeps shoulders square and uses his arms to generate speed. Above-average speed for his size and will go a long way to increase his value. Could be considered an above-average runner for his position. 

Summary: Howarth’s size and ability to launch the ball with an ideal bat speed impact metric range should make him one of the most coveted power bats on the 2021 uncommitted market. At 6-foot-5 215 pounds, Howarth has a lot more room to fill out and could easily end up being a starting division 1 first baseman who produces 10 home runs in a season. Howarth’s athleticism should not go overlooked, as his 7.01 60 yard dash is arguably the most impressive speed reading from the ProCase, helping increase his value and giving him the potential to play the outfield as well.

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