Ryan Howard, First Base, Colorado Rockies
Date of Birth: 11/19/1979
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
College: Missouri State University
Nickname: Big Piece
Ryan Howard, first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001 and he excelled in their minor league teams for his first three years after signing with them. In September, 2004, Howard was called up to the majors and in 42 at bats, he had 2 home runs and five doubles, ending his first partial season with a batting average of .282.
Howard began to show his power in 2005 with 22 home runs and 17 doubles in 312 at bats. His efforts earned him the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year award. But it was 2006 that proved Howard's worth to the Phillies. In 159 at bats, Howard had 58 home runs and 25 doubles, with a batting average of .313 and 149 RBIs. That year, he was awarded the National League MVP award. He also received the Silver Slugger award and the National League Hank Aaron award.
Howard continued to show his power in 2008 and 2009, leading the NL in RBIs both years. In 2008, he was the NL home run leader and in 2009, he won the NLCS MVP.
Howard suffered from injuries in 2012 and 2013, playing in just 71 games in 2012 and 80 games in 2013. He had a full season in 2014, playing in 153 games. He finished the season with 127 hits, 18 doubles, 23 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a .223 batting average.
In 2015, Howard batted .229 with 107 hits, 29 doubles, 23 home runs, and 77 RBIs in 129 games. As a first baseman, he made 66 assists, 75 double plays, 871 putouts, and 6 errors in 116 games.
Howard played in 112 games with the Phillies in 2016. He batted just .196 with 65 hits, 10 doubles, 25 home runs, and 59 RBIs. Defensively, as a first baseman in 83 games, he made 45 assists, 47 double plays, 557 putouts, and 11 errors.
The Phillies did not exercise their 2017 option for Howard. He played his final game as a Philly on October 2, 2016. He became a free agent on November 3, 2016. He signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves on April 6, 2017. He was released on May 8th. He joined the Rockies on a minor league contract on August 12th. He didn't play in the major leagues in 2017.
Statistics for Howard in thirteen seasons (2004-2016) with the major leagues include:
- 4 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 182 in 2006
- 2 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 37 in 2009
- 10 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 58 in 2006
- 6 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 149 in 2006
Career batting statistics for Howard through 2016 include:
- 1,572 games played
- 1,475 hits
- 277 doubles
- 382 home runs
- 1,194 RBIs
- 1,843 strikeouts to 709 walks
- .258 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Howard at first base through 2016 include:
- 1,477 games played
- 828 assists
- 1,106 double plays
- 12,351 putouts
- 119 errors
- .991 fielding percentage
Howard and his wife Krystle were married on December 1, 2012.
Howard has appeared on several TV shows, including "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The Office."