You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Reds’ top draft choice to join Dragons

Nick Howard could be counted upon to play any infield position while helping make the University of Virginia an NCAA baseball power. The Cincinnati Reds would be fine with just one: power pitcher.

“It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I gave up the bat and glove,” said Howard, the Reds’ recent No. 1 draft choice who landed with the low-Class A Dayton Dragons on Wednesday following an extended run in the College World Series. “It really hasn’t hit me yet. Once I start getting in the routine it’ll be a little bit different just being a pitcher.”

Idle for about 10 days since the college season ended, Howard will likely be added to the Dragons roster in the next few days. That would mean the last three Reds’ top draft choices would be Dragons, including outfielder Phil Ervin (2013) and pitcher Nick Travieso (’12).

Another Reds’ first-round pick, shortstop Alex Blandino of Stanford, was taken with the 29th pick and is playing rookie ball at Billings, Mont.

Howard, 21, is a native of Olney, Md. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander is initially projected as a reliever but ultimately a starting pitcher. He was the Reds’ top draft pick and went No. 19 overall in the first round of last month’s draft. Multiple reports have him signing for a bonus of nearly $2 million.

He consistently throws in the mid-90s. He was at his best in his third and final season at Virginia. As the Cavaliers’ closer, he was 2-2 with a 1.91 ERA, appearing in 31 games and collecting a single-season Atlantic Coast Conference record of 20 saves.

He also allowed the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and was tagged with the loss in Vanderbilt’s NCAA title clinching 3-2 defeat of Virginia in the CWS at Omaha, Neb., on June 30.

In addition to closer, Howard also was a designated hitter and first baseman at Virginia. He was the Cavs’ third baseman as a sophomore.

The Reds were among several teams to express extra interest in Howard prior to the draft. He said he was happily surprised to be chosen by the Dragons’ parent club.

“Obviously, you never really know about the draft,” he said. “The Reds were definitely excited to get things going and I was excited to get picked by them.

“It’s a very exciting time. It’s what I’ve been working for my entire baseball career. To finally get here and experience what it’s like to be a professional baseball player, it’s a dream come true.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

5 players the Bengals are most likely to draft
5 players the Bengals are most likely to draft

The Cincinnati Bengals own a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft for the first time since 2011 after a run of five consecutive playoff appearances ended in 2016. What had been a young, talented and deep roster allowed the Bengals the luxury of viewing the draft through a broader lens, knowing they weren’t dependent on their top picks making immediate...
The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back
The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back

The worst thing that ever happened to ESPN was the success of PTI. Shortly after Pardon The Interruption debuted in October 2001, the network set about trying to replicate it on every other show on the network. That has proven to be a disaster because nobody in Bristol gets the debate isn’t what makes that show great, it’s the debaters...
Report: Cincinnati Reds plans for Devin Mesoraco coming into focus
Report: Cincinnati Reds plans for Devin Mesoraco coming into focus

Devin Mesoraco is ready to return to the Cincinnati Reds. Per, that means the team is likely to start carrying three catchers when Mesoraco is activated Friday. The Reds are in a bit of a sticky situation because they don’t want to lose Stuart Turner, their current backup catcher, but also would like to continue carrying an extra reliever...
Ohio State NFL draft prospect Gareon Conley statement on rape allegations: ‘Completely false’
Ohio State NFL draft prospect Gareon Conley statement on rape allegations: ‘Completely false’

Gareon Conley has released a statement one day after news broke he is the subject of a sexual assault investigation in Cleveland.  Through his lawyer, the former Ohio State cornerback denied the allegations he raped a woman in a hotel room in early April.  “The things being said about me and what happened that night are not true...
Report: Dayton Flyers hosting recruit from Baltimore
Report: Dayton Flyers hosting recruit from Baltimore

Anthony Grant’s efforts to remake the Dayton Flyers basketball roster on the fly continue. National basketball recruiting analyst Julius Kim reported Wednesday morning Grant, UD’s new coach, was hosting Obadiah Toppin for an official visit.  Toppin is a 6-foot-9 senior at Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore, Md., and one of the best players...
More Stories