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From BR Bullpen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.
Philipp debuted in Bundesliga-1 in 2004, when he was just 16. He hit .211/.300/.239 as a regular shortstop for the Gauting Indians, fielding .854; his 15 errors were third in the southern Bundesliga. In 2005, Howard improved his batting line to .256/.323/.267 but his fielding percentage dipped to .833. His 23 errors in 26 games were six more than anyone else in the southern Bundesliga-1.
Howard moved to the Regensburg Legionäre in 2006 and batted .258/.327/.360 with 20 runs in 27 games. He fielded .931 while alternating between shortstop and second base. In '07, the youngster hit .358/.440/.505 and fielded .928 as a very productive middle infielder. He tied for 4th in the southern Bundesliga-1 in doubles (9), was 12th in average and tied for first in times hit by pitch (7).
Howard was selected for the German squad in the 2007 European Championship; he went 0 for 8 with 4 strikeouts and a walk in a rocky debut on the international stage. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he was Germany's second-youngest player (only Ludwig Glaser was younger). He went 0 for 2 against Arley Sanchez and Nick Stuifbergen and was hit by a pitch once. He twice pinch-ran and scored runs, including in Germany's win over Thailand, their first victory ever in a Baseball World Cup. Philipp handled 5 chances at second base without an error as the backup to Jendrick Speer.
In the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, Howard was 1 for 5 with a walk, two strikeouts and an error as the backup to Speer. His hit came off former Korea Baseball Organization MVP Min-han Son.
For the 2008 Legionäre, Howard hit .343/.465/.431 with 28 runs in 28 games and 18 steals in 25 tries. He fielded .954 at second base, his primary position by this point. He tied for 11th in average, tied for 4th in runs, led in times hit by pitch (12), was 9th in OBP (5th among German natives), was second in steals and 4th in steal percentage. He only hit .245/.273/.283 in the playoffs but Regensburg won its first title ever.
In the 2008 European Cup hosted by Regensburg, Howard batted .364/.440/.545 with 3 steals and 5 runs in 5 games, but also made 3 errors at second base. He tied Šimon Kudernatsch for the most triples (2) and tied for second in steals.