Cubs farm director Jared Banner confirmed on Tuesday that celebrated shortstop prospect Ed Howard will miss the rest of the season because of the serious left hip injury he suffered during a game for Single-A South Bend last week.
Beyond that, the timeline and severity of the injury remain unclear, with the Cubs revealing few details since Howard was seen by doctors in Chicago on Friday.
“We expect him to make a full recovery,” Banner said.
That would be the clear upside for the No. 16 overall pick in the 2020 draft, out of Mount Carmel High, who was ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ top defensive infield prospect.
Howard, 20, was injured trying to elude a tag on a wide throw to first base in the ninth inning of a game May 10, twisting to his left as he strode full speed across the bag, then tumbling past the bag, in visible pain.
Howard, one of the stars on the Jackie Robinson West team from Chicago that played in the 2014 Little League World Series championship game, already has missed one full minor-league season because of 2020 pandemic-canceled season, playing a total of 103 professional career games.
But he would still be considered a young player in the Midwest League next year, suggesting a chance to stay “on time” in his development timeline.
After a slow start this season, Howard was 16-for-50 (.320) in his last 14 games with five walks and an .832 OPS.