The Pittsburgh Pirates do not have very many right-handed options when it comes to the outfield. Jared Triolo is about the only good right-handed outfielder, and he’s still very new to the position. The team could go out and find an outfield-capable right-handed hitter in this year’s draft, and Korry Howell represents a super-utility option on top of that.
Howell’s season was cut short to just 48 games and 184 plate appearances. However, before his unfortunate injury, Howell was having a great season. He batted .250/.390/.486 with six home runs, four triples, and eight doubles. While he had a mediocre 28.3% strikeout rate, he had cut that down to 23.6% from the start of May up through late June. He offset his high K% with a 13.6% walk rate as well. Overall, he had a .390 wOBA and 124 wRC+.
Howell is very fast, with 70-grade speed. He swiped 12 bags in 13 attempts last year and has 67 total stolen bases in 264 contests. Howell can play all over the field. He’s mostly played center field but has over 180 innings logged at second base, shortstop, and third base. His speed helps him cover a lot of ground wherever he is playing, and he projects to be an outstanding defensive outfielder. However, he’s had some trouble making the more difficult plays in the infield.
Howell has good power, plus speed and a great glove in the outfield. Tack on his infield utility, and you can see why he should be on the Pittsburgh Pirates radar. Now there is some strikeout risk here with Howell, but the talent is undoubtedly there. He’d be worth the risk of a Rule 5 pick if the Pirates decide to take a position player instead.