Cephas Howard

Cephas Howard pitches in fall instructional league.

I’m working on the last of the 2007 photos, those I shot at fall instructional league in September.

I just came across some photos of Cephas Howard, a relief pitcher this year for Rookie-A Tempe. Curious about his background, I did a Google search and came up with this post on the WRDW web site by reporter Prentice Elliott:

Cephas Howard has a story to tell that seems to only get better with each passing day. The 22-year-old former Glenn Hills Spartan was just drafted by the LA Angels as a pitcher.

Here’s the kicker; Cephas has never pitched in an organized baseball game before.

The 22 year told us the tale at his house on Monday, the day before he was to leave for the Angels rookie league club in Arizona. It seems Cephas always played and always thought of himself as a catcher. That’s where he played while on the Glenn Hills team. And he stayed behind the plate when he went to junior college for 2 years. Then came the knee injury that changed his life. It required surgery and the doctors told Cephas he could no longer play catcher. So Howard signed to play with USC Aiken as a 1st baseman and possible pitcher. He redshirted his first year in Aiken as he healed but just as he was about to start his Senior season this Spring he found out his grades and credits fell short and he couldn’t play.

That’s when Howard took matters into his own hands.

Howard says, "In the Spring I got a job and I was like, I don’t know about this. So I moved to Atlanta and I got a trainer and a pitching coach and it went from there."

That’s when Howard got on the horn and contacted major league scouts to try and set up workouts.

Some were interested, some weren’t but the Angels decided to take a look and were impressed. The kid who had never pitched in a baseball game before was throwing 93 miles per hour. They were so impressed in fact, they drafted Howard in the 37th round.

Howard says, "After the 31st round…I’d worked out for the Reds and this guy got drafted in the 31st round that I threw with and I was like, oh man!. I put my head down on the computer and I looked up after the 36th round and the Angels were next and it took a while for it to come up and I saw it and I was like, wow!"

Wow, indeed. The first game for the rookie league Tempe Angels is set for next Friday as Cephas’s big adventure continues.

In 21 1/3 innings over 20 relief appearances, Cephas had a 7.17 ERA and an average against of .308. The numbers in his favor — a SO:BB ratio of 26:9. Eleven strikeouts per nine innings should keep him around for a while, but the rest is a work in progress. Hey, a catcher conversion worked for Troy Percival …

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