Readers React to Ryan Howard as an All Star

July 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Yesterday I posted a piece about Ryan Howard as a way to defend his selection to the All Star game on the National League’s team. The post seemed to be a pretty popular piece, one of my most successful in terms of hit totals and what not. So naturally I was interested in what the response was from the readers.

While there was one comment left on this site which may have accused me of being a Tim Wakefield fan (for reasons I would love to have cleared up) I found that I was getting more responses from the readers on Bleacher Report.

As you may or may not know I tend to stream many of my posts from here over at the community sports discussion site.

In reading the responses I have found that there are some valid points by the critics of the selection of Howard to the All Star game. For example;

“Clearly, Howard is the fans’ second choice for first base, so why not bring him along?”
—Because fan voting is dumb. If anything the selections of Dustin Pedroia and Josh Hamilton elucidate that.

Yes, Howard is an All-Star, but he’s not deserving, and not (currently) a top-five NL first baseman

1. Pujols – .336 avg/31 HR/82 RBI/1.200 OPS [ZERO protection]
2. Fielder – .313 avg/22 HR/76 RBI/1.056 OPS [Braun protection]
3. Gonzalez – .263 avg/24 HR/52 RBI/.965 OPS [ZERO protection]
4. Helton – .317 avg/9 HR/55 RBI/.903 OPS [Hawpe protection]
5. Lee – .288 avg/16 HR/53 RBI/.882 OPS [ZERO protection]
6. Howard – .252 avg/20 HR/61 RBI/.841 OPS [Utley, Ibanez protection]

I would rather have somebody up that can get a hit or on-base. There’s a higher probability that Howard would just strike out.

– Daniel Abbas

I think it is hard to argue that Ryan Howard is not one of the top five first basemen in the National League though.

Clearly Pujols is tops in the league, and although Howard’s batting average pales in comparison to some others, it is hard to top the power and runs batted in that Howard is going to have over the course of a season. Also consider that Utley does not provide protection for Howard, as he bats in front of the big man (as commenter Andrew Sexton points out).

But also look at Howard’s improved defense this season. Howard’s .994 fielding percentage and four errors committed are nothing to over look. Howard has become more than a one dimensional player.

To read all of the comments you can click here to visit the Ryan Howard post on Bleacher Report. Of course, once again, here is the original post.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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