If we combine hitting, defense and base running, WAR (wins above replacement) rated him as the seventh-best player on the Phillies this year. ...
Howard benefits significantly from the quality of the hitters ahead of him in the batting order. Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and, to a lesser extent, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco all have strong on-base percentages. Through Wednesday, the Phillies’ 1-3 hitters reached base 547 times, the eighth most in the majors. But as a group, they ranked 17th in extra-base hits, so they get on base but leave more runners for Howard to drive in.
By comparison, the Boston Red Sox’ No. 1 through No. 3 hitters were first in reaching base, but are better at driving themselves in by ranking second in extra-base hits. Boston’s No. 3 hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, the American League R.B.I. leader for much of the season, is the only player to have more runners on base than Howard this season.
This is not just a recent phenomenon. Since 2006, Howard had 2,815 runners on base, well ahead of the runner-up, Mark Teixeira, with 2,689.
Howard is good at what he does. When a runner is on base, he can bring him home, but the problem with R.B.I. is that they give too much of the credit to the hitter and not enough to the player driven in.
Posted: August 14, 2011 at 06:32 PM | 28 comment(s)
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