Ryan Howard for MVP?

I know that it’s early in the season. I know that the Phillies are in the midst of tossing the season down the tubes. And I know that Albert Pujols is injured. But the more I see of Ryan Howard, the more that I like the guy – and think that he might be a major part of the Phillies for some time to come.

As of last night, here are the key stats: .298, 25HR, 66 RBI (21st, 1st(T), 1st). And those are just the key figures. The rest of his stats:

stat rank Pujol’s rank
BA .298 21 14
OBP .365 35 2
SLG .631 2 1
HR 25 1(t) 1(t)
RBI 66 1 2
Hits 76 15² 76
Runs Created 56.4 9 7
RC/27 8.14 11 1
SO/AB 0.27   0.11

Not too shabby for a player in his first full year. Granted, the Phillies have had their share of 1st year phenoms (Marty Bystrom, Marlon Byrd and even Ryan Madson come to mind), but Howard seems to have a great combination of power and baseball know-how. Okay, he does strike out a bit, but what slugger – aside from the aforementioned Pujols – doesn’t? Mike Schmidt (no I’m not really comparing the two) also struck out a ton and is still regarded as one of the top players in history. And despite concerns about his glove, Howard has a .985 fielding percentage – 13th best in the NL and 23rd in the majors (well, he does have 10 errors, but has more chances than almost anyone else in the league at this point).

Better yet, it’s obvious that Howard is smart. From the first time he spoke, I realized that this wasn’t just another kid who has done nothing but play ball in his life – he’s articulate, well-spoken and seems like a genuinely nice guy. Next to perhaps Chase Utley, he’s my favorite player.

I know that he won’t actually win the MVP – once Pujols comes back, he’ll catch and pass Howard because simply, he IS THE MAN, but it is nice to see a Phillie having the year he is. Not to knock Chase Utley, who is also having a fantastic year so far.


¹ Bobby Abreu is actually leading the National League in OBP, with a figure of .452.
² Chase Utley is tied for 8th in the league with 82. Not too shabby.

I wish

Can you imagine how much better this team would be with Scott Rolen at third instead of David “Never saw an error he didn’t like” Bell? Through last night:
Rolen: .343, 9HR, 46 RBI, .417 OBP, 6E, .969 Field Pct.
Bell: .256, 4HR, 25 RBI, .327 OBP, 11E, .943 Field Pct.Sigh….


2 Responses to “Ryan Howard for MVP?

  • the problem isn’t missing rolen, although that would be fine by me. we’re so pitching poor it’s insane. we have no ace, and we need to stop thinking we’re going to trade bobby abreu for one. no one will trade an ace away unless he’s a head case or there’s money reason (which is generally the last year of a contract and they know they won’t resign him next year). our only hope is free agency or some one home grown to come up and dominate.

    that said, i’d be so much happier if we just flat out released bell and lieberthal or traded for some minor leaguers if we could even get that for them.

  • I guess I was right about this one … even all they way back in June…

Leave a Reply