Howard, who was picked in the 31st round by the Giants a year ago, is the Tigers’ highest drafted position player since James Boone was a third-round pick in 2005.
This past season, Howard batted .295 with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 27 RBIs and 40 runs scored. He was at his best late in the season when he hit a team-high .381 over the final 16 games.
Howard, who batted .284 in 163 career games at Mizzou, graduated from Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles, Mo. He played on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer.