Drafting the starting shortstop from Mt. Carmel is such a big deal for anyone around Chicago that even remotely understands the rich history and tradition of the Chicago Catholic League. And if you follow Barstool Chicago then you're very familiar with my affinity for running my mouth about high school sports and the CCL and the boys back home at Brother Rice and just generally trolling outsiders. If you grew up in the atmosphere then you know it's a lifelong way to draw boundaries and talk shit to your peers. So when I say that this is a big deal - that the Chicago Cubs drafted the best kid to come out of the Catholic League since Bob Cummings went 7th overall in '76 - then I fucking mean it boys. I mean I really fucking mean it. This should make everyone across this seemingly hopeless city feel pretty goddamn special.
On a player standpoint level, Ed Howard is so good they thought he'd go top 5. Then the season got cancelled and nobody has seen him play since 2019 and he dropped to the Cubs at 16. Further helping my point is that the 2020 MLB draft just set the record for most college players taken in a row to start the draft at 7. There's too much uncertainty with putting your 1st round pick in the high school crop this year. Ipso facto a kid like Ed Howard bypasses a bunch of teams that would literally never pass on him in any other draft class.
More specifically, he's fast as fuck and has an absolute cannon at shortstop with ridiculous hands. He's probably going to put on another 15-20 pounds of athletic muscle if he's even a fraction of what scouts expect and worst case scenario he's a plus defender in centerfield. More realistically though this dude is playing shortstop for the next 3 years in the Cubs system and flying up the ranks.
If that's not enough he was also the best player on the Jackie Robinson West team that Big Cat traveled with that one summer. That was a weird time but a funny video.
Eddie did a Dog Walk on the controversy surrounding the Jackie Robinson West program if you really want to do a deep dive.
The easiest comparison based on everything would be the Addison Russell super athletic hitter type that's just naturally better than everyone until AA. The fact he's coming out of Mt. Carmel means he won't be a complete fuckface but probably quite the opposite. Other notable athletes from that factory include Antoine Walker, Donovan McNabb, John Coci and a bunch of other guys I don't have time to look up. Point is you should have comfort in where he's coming from that he's going to be an amazing team player that's here to win some fucking ball games.
Finally, the state of Illinois hasn't had a position player drafted in the first round of the MLB draft since Jayson Werth out of Chatham Glenwood back in '97. You can tell me I'm overreacting about high school sports but don't tell me that's not a big deal. That in and of itself is enough for me to be talking shit about the Chicago Catholic League. Mix in him staying home and playing for the Cubs and yes obviously we're doing ALEXA LEVEL 10 PLAY GO CUBS GO. What else did you expect?
PS for the diehards: