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Mark Howie

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Mark William Howie

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mark Howie played in the minor leagues from 1984 to 1992. Defensively versatile - he spent considerable time at all the infield positions as well as in the outfield during his career - Howie played in Triple-A for about one and a half seasons, but never reached the major leagues. He won a batting title in AA.

He was drafted in the third round of the 1984 amateur draft, right after Tony Perezchica and a few slots ahead of Ken Caminiti and Greg Myers. He was Oakland's second pick, following Mark McGwire. Howie made his pro debut with the Medford A's, hitting .266/.382/.313 with no homers and fielding .930 at SS. He led Northwest League shortstops in putouts (107) and fielding percentage. He was 7th in the league in walks (45) and 10th in OBP. He fielded .938 at short for the 1985 Madison Muskies while producing at a .265/.351/.325 clip, scoring 72 runs and stealing 26 bases in 40 tries.

Back with Madison in 1986, he was moved to 2B because of Walt Weiss at SS; he batted .309/.411/.403 with 79 walks, 92 runs and 45 steals in 56 tries. He was 6th in the Midwest League in average (between Dwight Smith and Marty Brown), 3rd in OBP (after Mark Grace and Kenny Grant), tied for third in runs (with Smith), third in walks (behind Grant and Keith Bennett) and 5th in steals (between Bennett and Craig Wilson). He led A's farmhands in steals (9 ahead of Luis Polonia, was 5th in runs and 7th in walks. He was named the All-MWL second baseman that year. He split 1987 between the Huntsville Stars (.257/.341/.333 in 92 G) and Tacoma Tigers (.236/.337/.264 in 44 G).

He joined the Cleveland Indians organization for 1988 and hit .257/.312/.348 for the Williamsport Bills. His 29 doubles led the Eastern League, one ahead of Jerome Walton, and he led EL second sackers in fielding percentage (.985), putouts (274), assists (372) and double plays (76). He spent 1989 to 1991 in the California Angels system. His first year, he batted .331/.410/.463 in 86 games as a utility man for the Midland Angels. Had he qualified, he would have been second in the Texas League batting race behind Bobby Rose.

Starting at 1B for Midland in 1990, he fielded .990 and hit .291/.333/.380. He missed the TL top 10 in average by .002. In '91, he produced at a .364/.428/.539 clip with 32 doubles, 18 home runs, 101 runs and 123 RBI in 130 games for Midland. He won the TL batting championship by 20 points over John Jaha, was second in OBP (.010 behind Jaha), ranked third in slugging (behind Jaha and Juan Guerrero), tied Ruben Escalera for third in runs, led in hits (21 more than Jaha), tied Jeff Frye for third in doubles, tied Jim Tatum and John Sellick for 6th in dingers and was 3rd in RBI (behind Jaha and Tatum). Spending regular time at both 1B and 3B that year, he made the TL All-Star team at DH, though Jaha got the MVP. He led Angels farmhands in average (.038 ahead of #2 Ruben Amaro Jr.), led in slugging (34 points ahead of Lee Stevens), was second to Don Barbara in OBP, led in OPS (34 points better than Barbara), led in hits (34 more than Amaro), led in runs (one more than Tim Salmon), tied Jeff Kipila for 5th in home runs, was third in doubles (behind Amaro and Kipila) and led with 278 total bases (35 more than Stevens). He finished his career in the Cincinnati Reds chain in 1992, hitting just .246/.290/.347 as a utility man for the Nashville Sounds.

Overall, Howie hit .287/.362/.383 with 1,092 hits, 48 home runs and 133 stolen bases in 1,037 games spread over nine seasons.

He died on August 4, 2007 at the age of 44.

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