BaseballEvolution.com Scouting Report: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard
By Keith Glab 3/28/05
"That awesome-hitting first baseman on the Phillies" is a phrase someone might use to try to describe Jim Thome. By next season, it will be one of the ways people describe uber-slugger Ryan Howard.
Position: First Base
Birthdate: November 19, 1979
Drafted: By Philadelphia--5h Round of the 2001 Amateur Draft
Year Team----Lg--Age Org Lvl GP AB RS Hits 2 3 HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
2004 Reading East 24 Phi AA 102 374 73 111 18 1 37 102 46 129 .297 .386 .647 1033
2004 Scranton Intl 24 Phi AAA 29 111 21 30 10 00 09 029 14 37 .270 .362 .604 966
2004 P Phillies NL 24 Phi MLB 19 039 05 11 05 00 02 005 2 13 .282 .333 .564 897
Yes, Howard really did hit 48 homers in 524 at bats last year. He is a pure hitter, and itís scary to think that heíll only get better and stronger as he ages.
Hitting and Power:
This is one big, strong dude. Howard has elite power to all fields, even at the age of 24. His home runs tend to be hard hit drives rather than mammoth shots, since he has a quick, level swing. But he is consistent at the plate, and can get the ball out of any park with ease. Though he will take some walks and wait for a good pitch to hit, Howard remains an aggressive hitter.
Baserunning and Speed:
Although heís not quite as lumbering as one might expect from someone his size, Ryan is no threat on the basepaths. Heís loathe to take an extra base, with good reason, but at least heís not going to make silly outs between the bases.
Howard makes a lot of errors in the field, but does have surprising quickness. He can pounce on balls hit reasonably close to him and turn a double play nicely with his solid throwing arm. Scooping balls out of the dirt isnít his specialty, but he does provide his infield with an awfully big target to hit.
Projection: Elite Power-Hitting First Baseman
MLB Clone: Carlos Delgado
Ryan Howard would be one of the top three hitters on any major league team. Unfortunately, being stuck in the NL with a team that has Jim Thome necessitates his underutilization, unless the Phillies get creative and move Thome back to the hot corner. It is far more likely that one of these two sluggers will not return to the Phillies in 2006, and that Howard is relegated to pinch-hitting duties this year.
But even though Howard wonít get too many at bats this season, the only skill he might want to improve on is the ability to take walks, and thatís something that will come naturally as teams start to pitch around him. Heís ready to be a star now, so lack of at-bats for one season isnít going to hinder his development into one of the most frightening offensive forces in baseball.
2005 Outlook: Best Pinch Hitter Since Mark McGwire, 2000