Tonight with Jacob DeGrom and Jose Abreu getting the respective NL and AL Rookie of the Year awards we turn back the clock a decade.
10 Years ago Ryan Howard was still a Rookie. He had 19 games and 42 at bats under his belt. Only 2 homers in the sample but he also recorded a respectable .282 batting average. We still didn't know if Howard was the type of hitter who could replace the venerable Jim Thome at First Base.
A year later Phillies fans would be excited to have Ryan Howard as Rookie of the Year. What a decade it's been. Today the Phillies fans are dealing with a significantly different player
Ryan Howard 2015+
There are still some things to get excited about when you see Ryan Howard play - He still hits majestic Home Runs that make you think of how things were. Unfortunately he strikes out all the time, and performs poorly in the field and on the bases which reminds us of how things are.
In my heart of hearts I still think Ryan Howard has a big season left in him. I blame his struggles on his torn up ankle and other injuries. There is another more realistic me that thinks I am a dreamer or that this magic one more Ryan Howard MVP season will happen with another club.
I am giving Ryan Howard a 0 WAR for 2015. If he stinks next season I think the Phillies will feel more free to move on Darin Ruf or other options. Regardless a 0 WAR in 2015 would be an IMPROVEMENT over the -1.1 WAR Howard posted in 2014 (at the expense of $25M the same salary he carries in 2015)
I am keeping a running track of the 2015 Phillies projected Win total as we analyze the roster. A link to those totals is here.
Sources & Links
WAR Stories Phillies 2015+ Index