Iowa’s hope to hold onto shortstop signee Korry Howell is officially over. The former Kirkwood standout has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, Hawkeyes coach Rick Heller confirmed to HawkCentral Sunday.
Howell was a 12th-round selection on the MLB draft’s final day (June 6), and had until July 6 to make a decision on heading to Iowa City or the professional ranks.
“This is what I’ve been working for my whole life,” Howell told HawkCentral on June 6, “so now is the time to put on the big-boy pants and start working.”
Howell’s decision is the final draft blow for Heller’s program. Iowa lost juniors Robert Neustrom (fifth round, Baltimore Orioles), Nick Allgeyer (12th round, Toronto Blue Jays), Zach Daniels (19th round, Atlanta Braves) and Brady Schanuel (27th round, Milwaukee Brewers) to the professional ranks, as well as senior catcher Tyler Cropley (eighth round, Washington Nationals).
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Heller was hopeful Iowa could keep Howell, who piled up 40 stolen bases, 45 RBIs and hit .401/.483/.572 as Kirkwood's leadoff hitter last season. But the Hawkeyes still had to have a recruiting plan in case that didn’t happen, even without much room to work with.
“We really don’t have a lot of (recruiting) flexibility at this time of the year unless something happens where someone leaves the program,” Heller said on The Todd Brommelkamp Show with Alex Kuhn on June 19.
“So we are preparing to the best of our ability in case Korry would go (to the Brewers), while hoping and keeping our fingers crossed that we’re going to have Korry here next season — and that he’s going to come in and have a solid year and be in a better situation for the draft next year.”
Unfortunately for Heller, that didn’t happen. And Iowa is now down another big asset heading into 2019.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for The Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.