This is our old blog. It hasn't been active since 2011. Please see the link above for our current blog or click the logo above to see all of the great data and content on this site.

Ryan Howard

Posted by Andy on September 25, 2008

While Howard leads all of MLB in HR and RBI by a wide margin, he's not having quite as good a year as you might think. (I know that sounds crazy.)

First, check out this list of lowest OPS+ values for a guy with 47+ HR. It's been done 92 times, and only twice has a guy been under 130. Think about his OPS+ of 121...does that seem like a number that a guy leading all of baseball in HR and RBI should have?

A large part of it is his low batting average. Two years ago, he hit .313 and slugged .659 with an OPS+ of 167. This year, he's batting only .248 and slugging .537. That's 65 points off his batting average and 122 points off his slugging average. His extra bases are roughly the same--the difference is actually about 30 fewer singles, and the fact that he's got more ABs this year.

His OBP is also way down from .425 to .337, thanks partly due to the low BA again, but also due to the fact that he's walking less. He already has more PAs in 2008 than he did in 2006, but he has 27 fewer walks at the moment.

I'm not suggesting that Howard is a dud. However, it's also true that his 2008 is not in the same league as his 2006 was, or even his 2007.

2 Responses to “Ryan Howard”

  1. whiz Says:

    Excellent point. Hopefully MVP voters will take note (says the Cardinals and Pujols fan).

  2. ZimJim Says:

    I am a huge fan of Albert Pujols, but I'll take a minute to defend Howard. First off his 126 OPS+ is still 8 points higher than MVP teammate Jimmy Rollins had last year. Rollin's numbers were not that extraordinary but he had the intangible factor, and was a team leader.

    Howard on the other hand has stepped up this after starting off slow, and has become the team leader for the phillies offense. When Utley started to hit a slide, Howard's numbers picked up. He has 146 RBIS, a whopping 22 more than second place David Wright of the Mets. The last person to have that many more RBI's was Hank Aaron in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves. He also has 48 home runs, 8 more than second place Adam Dunn.

    Comparing to his MVP campaign of 2006, he had 149 rbis, this year he has 3 less, 146. He had 10 more home runs in 06 than in 08, meaning that the rbis he hit were not just home runs but also clutch hits when compared to 06 campaign. Also, he played in all 162 games all year.

    Against howard, other than what Andy mentioned above, is that his fielding is terrible. The gold glove award is a popularity contest these days, I feel but, Jimmy Rollins was still good enough for one in his MVP campagin, probably because he won the MVP. Howard will not be recieving any gold gloves, and that should be taken into account with the MVP voters.

    Pujols is a great player, yes. But I feel that Ryan Howard is the Most Valuable Player to HIS TEAM, just like rollins was last year. But in the end it is all up to the voters, and how they feel about things like this.