Around the Horn With St. Louis University High RHP Brian Howard

With an intimidating 6-foot-8 frame and seven foot wing span, Class of 2013 RHP Brian Howard burst onto the scene as a sophomore going 10-0 for St. Louis University High.  Brian solidified his Number 2 ranking in the Class of 2013 with two very impressive pitching performances at the Prep Baseball Report Midwest Futures Games, showcasing his dominance in front of fifty plus Division 1 coaches. It wasn’t just his size that caught the eye of the college coaches; it was also his ability throw pitches for strikes and keep batters off balance. It was a great end to a busy high school and summer season.

Going into the 2011 season as a sophomore, Brian knew he would be competing for a spot in the SLUH rotation. “I worked hard to earn that spot in the rotation. I didn’t expect to go 10-0 as a sophomore, but I had a very good offense that put up runs. I just needed to throw strikes,” said Howard on his breakout season.

Howard’s successes continued during the summer, with his St. Louis Pirates team playing up to an 18U schedule, a coming of age for Brian. “Defeating Kentucky Baseball Club at the Pastime Tournament Club at Butler was definitely a highlight of the summer,” said Brian.  “Their 18U team is one of the best in the nation and I threw a four hitter with ten strikeouts in a 3-2 victory. With that one run lead and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, I was facing their number four hitter, who was one of those well-built guys who is a power hitter. With a 1-2 count and everyone knowing what was coming, I threw a fastball right past him. It felt like that pitch was 99mph.”

Going into this offseason, Brian has decided not to play basketball and focus solely on baseball.  “I am working out to get stronger,” he said adding that he has put on fifteen pounds in the past few months.

“This fall and winter I will be working on continuing to develop my changeup and cutter, as well as adding velocity to my fastball. I have set a goal to sit 90-91 mph with my fastball when the 2012 high school season starts.”

With the implementation of the new BBCOR bats, a pitcher like Brian will have a huge advantage. “To me as a pitcher, this is one of the best things to happen. That doesn’t take away the fact that there are still good hitters; I will still have to go out every game and pitch with a plan.”

With his “swagger” on the mound, Brian doesn’t hide his emotion. That swagger combined with an arsenal of pitches has helped him to become one of the most projectable Class of 2013 players with a Division 1 future and possibly beyond.