Saturday, February 25, 2006

Player Highlight: Ryan Howard

Continuing my series where I focus on the keys to the 2006 season, I turn my attention to one Ryan Howard.

In my prior post, I focused on David Bell. Bell was the worst regular in the lineup last season, and the reason I focused on his first was because although he has limited upside, a small improvement at that position would result in meaningful improvement to the Phills. Low lying fruit, you might say.

The opposite is true for Ryan Howard. His fruit is as high as one can conceive. His 2005 OBP was .356 and SLG was .567. Very very good. However, if you've got a subscription to BP, check out his 2006 projection. His 50% projection shows an improvement to .363 OBP and .582 SLG. Then, look at his 90% projection. Look again. And again. It takes a few times to believe your eyes. Ryan Howards' 90% projection is an amazing .429 OBP and .750 SLG!!!!

As a comparison, I examined other luminaries' projected 90% SLG. The only player I could find with a higher upside is the inhuman Barry Bonds. Ryan projects a better 90% SLG upside than Pujols, A-Rod, Derrick Lee, Manny Rameriz, David Ortiz, anyone but Bonds. His 90% HR number is 61. His 90% RBI Number is 153. His 90% Stolen Base number is 0. Well, he's not playing because of his speed, folks. In fact, if he even attempts a stolen base all year, Charlie Manuel should be immediately fired.

When I plugged Howard's numbers into the nifty run scoring projection program from Baseball Musings, using all other players' 2005 numbers, I got a projected increase in runs of almost .5 per game, which would translate into an extra 8 wins over the season!!!

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow!!!


At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Wade Bloggs said...

Ryan Howard is my new baseball hero. First it was Mo Vaughn, then David Ortiz ... I see a trend, and I'm happy we finally have our own monster first baseman.


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