100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 25 – Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard
First Baseman
2004-Present

Career w/Phillies: .279 AVG / 177 HR / 499 RBI / 2 SB

Ryan Howard, in five years, is arguably the Phillies greatest offensive weapon ever. Blocked by Jim Thome on the system depth chart, Howard finally found regular time because of a Thome injury in 2005. The big man made the most of his time, swatting 22 home runs in 88 games. For that half-year output, Howard won the National League Rookie of the Year award. His encore? Hitting .313 with 58 home runs and 149 runs batted in, easily one of the most prolific seasons in Phillies history. He won the Most Valuable Player award for his efforts, cementing his place as one of the game’s most feared players. Since, Howard has remained a steady power hitter, crushing more than 40 homers in 2007 and ’08. Though his averages have dropped since that 2006 season, there’s no doubt Howard is far and away the games top home run hitter. His mammoth Septembers have helped the Phillies reach postseason play, and in 2008, he came alive late in the World Series to help energize the Phillies to their second world championship.

Comment: It’s amazing Howard has played merely five seasons. The numbers he has attained are mind-blogging – he’s averaging 35 home runs and almost 100 RBI per season. When he strides to the plate, everything stops. He’s that special. In a few years Howard could see his way into the top 10 of this list – for now, a ranking at the top of the 25 makes sense.

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