Q&A 7th Round Pick, Trent Howard

ITO interviews the Orioles 7th round pick, LHP Trent Howard from Central Michigan University. This season Howard was 4-4 with 14 starts and a 2.78 ERA. He threw one complete game shutout and pitched 87.1 innings. He struck out 96 and walked only 22.

InsidetheOs: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by the Orioles

Trent Howard: It was a pretty big surprise. I was able to generate a lot of interest from a lot of teams and the Orioles never really contacted me personally and never really showed a whole lot of interest to me personally on my level but I know my advisor talked to them here and there. But when I was drafted by the Orioles, I was actually totally surprised. I just didn’t expect it. There were a few teams like the Braves, Mariners, and Blue Jays that I was really expecting to be the ones to draft me. The Orioles were kind of out of left field but that was a pleasant surprise.

ITO: Where were you when you found out you were drafted?

Howard: I was at my brothers house with my family and oddly enough I started getting a little too worried because I was expecting to go in the top 200. It was the 6th round and around the 210th pick and I had heard too many horror stories of people falling 20 rounds so I didnt know if that was gonna happen to me so I decided to go upstairs. No later do I get upstairs and my family starts freaking out and saying that I got drafted by Baltimore.

ITO: The area scout is Adrian Dorsey, did you hear from him much?

Howard: He hadn’t talked to me before the draft at all but I got a call from him on the day of the draft. Actually my family had been freaking out that I had been drafted and then I got the call from him telling me that I had been drafted.

ITO: Do you have any idea what the Orioles organization or farm system is like?

Howard: With in about an hour after being drafted I was online looking up where are the minor league teams were and seeing how far they were from Baltimore and stuff. My family was doing it to. We had about four computers going nuts trying to figure things out. It was a really fun process.

ITO: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please- what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?

Howard: I throw a two and four seam fastball, a curveball, change-up and cutter. My four seam is usually about 87-89 and touches 90. The two-seam is a probably a couple mph slower so probably 85-87ish. I love early contact. If I can get the batter to hit a pitch early in the count, I can go deeper into the game. What generated interest in me is that I have swing and miss stuff. I generate a lot of swings and misses. That allows me to get quite a few strikeouts without trying to do too much. Sometimes I can get that early contact, but sometimes I don’t because I am also a command pitcher and I usually paint the corner and get strike one or a swing and a miss type deal. I try to pitch to contact but I also have the stuff to strike people out.

ITO: What is your out pitch?

Howard It really depends on the hitter. For lefties I would say the curve ball would be my go to. Left handed hitters have never really been able to do much with my curve. To righties any four of those pitches is coming at you. I feel like righties have a lot tougher position because I have all four of my pitches that I can throw to them at any time and they dont see any of them particularly well out of my hand. My cutter is still a pitch that is developing. It is a good pitch but I am still working on it. I throw it the way I want to and have good depth to it and hitters have a hard time reading the spin on it and they just see it as a fastball. Then it breaks towards their knees and its just an easy thing to miss.

ITO: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?

Howard: Growing up in Chicago, I always loved the Cubs. One thing about the Orioles is that they are in the American League so I am thrilled about that cause than I get to beat up on the White Sox and I have never been a fan of the White Sox. Actually my dad grew up an Oriole fan for no apparent reason. He grew up in Indiana and always loved the Orioles. Me, myself, I was always a Cubs fan. My favorite player was Randy Johnson because I mean, what that guy did was unbelievable.

ITO: Who would you compare your stuff to at the Major League level so Orioles' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound? and why?

Howard: There really is not anyone that I try to necessarily mimmick my game after but I have been compared to Mark Buerhle of the White Sox. Just in style really. Neither of us throw that hard but we can locate obviously. I am sure he can a little bit better than I can, that’s why he is in the majors.

ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Howard: I guess I would say this year when I struck out the first nine batters to start game against Kent State.

ITO: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?

Howard: I am hoping to sign later today. If all of the tests go well I hope to be signing later today. From what I am hearing, all of the draft picks will go to the Gulf Coast League for 10 days and then I heard that I could possibly be sent to Aberdeen.

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