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Monday, April 30, 2007

Mailbag: Ryan Howard

Here's a mailbag question that I'm sure a lot of Ryan Howard owners are thinking:


Ryan Howard--stay patient with him, or should I be shopping him around?"

Here is my response:

"I don't own Ryan Howard in any of my leagues, but if I did this is how I would proceed. I would talk to the owners in my league and get a feel for how highly they value him. If I could get somebody of equal perceived value, I would do it. But I would not sell him low. All three of his HRs so far have been hit very far. By that logic, he should have hit a few that weren't as far, which he hasn't yet. He will do this eventually. His numbers last year indicate his power is real, and his numbers this year indicate the same thing.

Other Phillies struggling as well, but I expect them to start hitting. Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, and Burrell are all good players. Rowand isn't bad either. Howard should easily get over 110 RBIs and at least 100 Runs. He is walking a lot this year, and while this will come down a little he should score a good amount of Runs just based on his being on base a lot and hitting home runs. As far as HRs go, it isn't out of the question to expect 50 or 55 by year's end. I wouldn't even be shocked if he hit 60. His average will come down from last year as he swings and misses a lot of pitches and his Contact Rate isn't very good. He hits a lot of LDs (although it is a little low this year), so when he does put the ball in play it is often hit well.

In summation, Howard is still a good player who you should hold onto. He's getting a little unlucky with homers, and when the rest of the team starts to hit he will pick up his RBIs and Runs. His BA will be down from last year, but Howard is still a very good player. Don't trade him low.

If in a few weeks he starts to hit and a guy like Alex Rodriguez slows down, see if you can't make the trade. Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes (if you need steals), and David Ortiz are a few other guys I would consider trading him for. I hope this helps!"

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