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Chicago Cubs prospect Ed Howard faces long absence after suffering serious hip injury – The Denver Post

Chicago Cubs prospect Ed Howard is facing a long absence.

The shortstop suffered a major hip injury Tuesday night at High-A South Bend. Howard hit the ground awkwardly after trying to avoid being scored on an errant throw to first base.

It’s a blow to Howard, 20, who has been limited to just 103 professional games since the Cubs drafted him with the No. 16 pick in the 2020 draft. Baseball America lists Howard as its No. 18 prospect. while MLB.com places him at No. 14 in its preseason rankings.

President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer praised Howard for handling the situation despite his injury. He expects Howard to come back strong.

“It’s never a good time for an injury like that,” Hoyer said on Saturday. ” But it’s a pity. He worked so incredibly hard this winter. I think he has become stronger than anyone at our camp this winter. You look at exit speeds, he’s reduced his takedown rate. He played his typical good defense.

“It’s a shame that his season has been cut short.”

The pandemic cost Howard his first year when the 2020 minor league season was canceled. He struggled in Low-A Myrtle Beach, producing a .225/.277/.315 slant line and 16 extra hits, 5.5 BB% and 30.1K% in 80 games (326 plate appearances ). He also lost six weeks to a hamstring injury.

Howard has responded well to a disappointing season. He spent the winter at the Cubs’ compound in Arizona getting hands-on instruction with minor league staff, attending a camp featuring more than two dozen of the organization’s top prospects.

The Cubs were encouraged by Howard’s departure in 2022 after challenging him in South Bend. He was generating more contacts (20.4K%) and getting on base at a better clip (.323 on-base percentage and 9.7 BB%) through 23 games. Now he faces a long recovery.

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