Monday, September 11, 2006

Ryan Howard

Those who know me know that my favorite position player is Albert Pujols. There’s just something about his consistency and his approach to the game that I love. The risk he took playing with what could have been a career-ending arm injury a couple years ago just shows the commitment he has to the game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, pick up 3 Nights in August, a great read all around that has an explanation on the Pujols injury situation. That being said Pujols is having another Pujols season: 5th in the NL in batting average, 2nd in Home Runs, third in OBP and 2nd in SLG. He has almost single handedly brought the Cardinals to another post-season appearance as has become expected of him.

Ryan Howard looks like he could be better than him. The kid has wowed the league by hitting .316, hitting 56 home runs and slugging .682 to lead the National League in the latter two categories. He’s making an assault on Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs and he does it all with a grin on his face. I can’t imagine what the media hype about this kid would be had McGwire, Sosa and Bonds not come before him, a thought made even sadder because of their alleged use of performance enhancing supplements. If Philadelphia somehow jumps back into the playoffs by taking the Wild Card spot, this kid should be on everyone’s MVP list. With the benefit of I’ve gotten a chance to see Howard play and he looks like he could be the next big thing, I hope that he does not get derailed and also hope that he finishes the season with at least 61 home runs. With the new drug testing policies in MLB, we can have faith that he is not on any kind of illegal supplements. If he somehow hits 61 or more, maybe then we could all accept that Roger Maris’ home run record has been broken legitimately.

A final thought…with the depth at first base in the National League (Pujols, Berkman and Berkman all in the top five in VORP), can Pujols or Howard be considered a first pick in any fantasy draft? Or would you go with a Joe Mauer, ARod or Santana?

No comments: