Cincinnati Reds have a pair of prospects that are back on-line

(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have a pair of first round draft picks acquired in 2014 that are back on the path to the majors.

Nick Howard and Jonathon Crawford are both part of the Cincinnati Reds organization.  They were the 19th and 20th picks overall in their respective drafts.  The Detroit Tigers originally drafted Crawford.

Howard was Robert Stephenson before the Reds drafted Stephenson.  Crawford, meanwhile, came out of the University of Florida in the 2013 draft.  The Reds added Crawford with Eugenio Suarez in exchange for Afredo Simon in the winter 0f 2014.

Howard and Crawford ranked third and ninth as Reds’ prospects, respectively, following the 2014 season.  Crawford has averaged less than fifty innings per season with the Reds due to injuries.  This led to a lack of command.

After being the Reds’ top pick in 2014,Howard missed the second half pf 2016 and all of 2017 with an injury.  Howard’s off-season, however, should return to normal this year.  Both Crawford and Howard are playing in the fall instructional league.

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This isn’t the first time that a pair of first round picks have been injured.  This is not part of the reason that the Reds took a nose dive when Johnny Cueto left.  Crawford and Howard projected to get to the big leagues 2018 or later.

Nick Howard and Jonathon Crawford have had mixed results in the minors for the Cincinnati Reds.

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Crawford last had a solid year in 2014.  He started 23 games pitching 123 innings.  Crawford went 8-3 for the Low-A team of the Tigers.  He struck out 85 and had a WHIP of 1.16.

Crawford is a starting pitcher.  In five minor league seasons Crawaford has made 70 starts going 9-19.  He has a career ERA of 4.10 and WHIP of 1.59.

Howard, meanwhile, projected as a starter, but is now on the relief track.  In his first minor league season, Howard started six games and relieved in five.  He only pitched 33 ⅔ innings, striking out 23.

Since then Howard has pitched in 49 games with an ERA over 6.50.  He has 51 strike outs in 58 innings.  Only five of his appearances were starts.

Both Crawford and Howard are in the instructional fall league.  Both are healthy.  Now the Reds have another duo to get excited about seeing.

Next: Are the Reds leaving Cincinnati?

With Howard the Reds have a power reliever that looks ready for a shot at Double-A.  In Crawford, they have a starting pitcher that is still two years away.  Both pitchers, however, are finally showing the stuff that made them first round picks.  Now they need to take that last step forward to the high minors in 2018.