Throwback Howard's competitiveness a key to his success

by Darryl Reid

March 16, 2020

By Rachael Bishop

Canadian Baseball Network

ST. PETERBURG, Fla. -- At the Canadian Junior National Team spring training camp at the Baseball City complex here, the decision to cancel games was met with disappointment and understanding.

Though the club was following the lead of Major League Baseball by continuing to practice, losing games against the clubs was a loss for the young players. 

“It’s probably a good idea, from a health standpoint, to keep it from not spreading,” pitcher and infielder Drew Howard said when asked about the MLB’s decision. “But because I want to keep playing, I don’t like it.” 

The grade 12 student from Whitby, Ont., is still very happy about the overall Florida experience despite the cancellation of the team’s remaining two spring training games. 

“It’s [spring training] just a lot more work than normal, than the (Toronto) Mets [Howard’s club team] would do. Because you are out here every day, you’re waking up, you’re getting on the bus at eight and not leaving the diamond until five. 

“So, they are long days, hard work, but it’s fun.” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to a chance to hopefully do this again and then make this a career.”

With a curveball that registers 72-75 mph and a max fastball of 90 mph, Howard is a bit of a throwback player, according to Canada manager Greg Hamilton. 

“He’s a competitive kid, he doesn’t worry much about what it looks like [his pitch], he just gets out there and competes. He handles adversity well, if he’s struggling, he doesn’t panic, and he continues to be aggressive as a pitcher, and he’s athletic as well, which helps him. 

“He’s a very, very competitive kid, and it’s going to serve him well.”