Results tagged ‘ Ryan Howard ’
Domonic Brown is good. He may not be very good or ever become great, but he has shown in the month of May what he is capable of, having posted a .933 OPS with 10 home runs, 21 RBI, and three stolen bases in 27 games and 105 plate appearances. Sure, he hasn’t taken a walk all month, so his .295/.295/.638 leaves something to be desired, but with Chase Utley hurting and Ryan Howard looking like a “Big Piece” of trash, considering what he is earning ($25 million), for the Philadelphia Phillies, this is a big deal.
Brown’s emergence in the power department has to be a welcomed addition to the rapidly aging Philly squad. At the age of 25, Brown could be on his way to establishing himself as an All-Star caliber talent. While his walk rate is very low due to his apparent lack of patience in May (4.5 percent for the full season), he did manage nine walks in 97 plate appearances, a 9.7 percent walk rate, in the first month of the season, and his strikeout rate hasn’t increased dramatically (17.5 percent in the first month and 19 percent in May). The patience is there to allow Brown to be a more patient hitter, especially if you consider his career .373 on-base percentage over 2,274 minor league plate appearances.
However, what if Brown doesn’t walk and he just hits home runs and drives in runs? Is that so bad? While it would affect his triple slash and his ability to post incredibly overall numbers, what is wrong with Domonic Brown becoming Alfonso Soriano?
Look at Soriano’s career:
Soriano didn’t get his career started until 2001, at the age of 25, after spending his age-19 through age-21 seasons playing in Japan. He played in three levels in his first season stateside (1999), before spending all of 2000 in Triple-A. Upon getting started in New York for good, Soriano established himself as a powerful force in the Yankee lineup. He appeared in seven straight All-Star games and was a dominant force for several years before slipping drastically in Chicago in 2009, the third year of an eight-year, $136 million deal. Whether his decline resulted in a little bad luck (.279 BABIP in 2009, career average is still .303 today) or his aging frame being unable to swing his giant bat (35 inches, 36 ounces), Soriano made an adjustment last season (32.8 ounces) in his bat to revitalize his value, although he still isn’t worth $18 million in 2013 or 2014, given his inability to show consistency at the plate over the last several seasons…but at least it isn’t Ryan Howard’s contract on the Chicago Cubs!
Regardless, Brown compares favorably to Soriano if he were to continue to produce like he has in May due to Soriano’s lack of on-base skills over his career. He has walked in just six percent of his 7,727 career plate appearances, while still finding a way to slug nearly 400 home runs and drive in over 1,000 runs. In Soriano’s first five full seasons (2001-2005), he walked just 156 times in 3,429 plate appearances, a 4.5 percent walk rate. Where did we see that number before? Domonic Brown’s 2013 walk rate is 4.5 percent, even after not having taken a walk in 105 May plate appearances.
Boom. Small sample size statistical comparison made. Now, the questions become:
- Can Brown maintain this success?
- Will Brown increase his walk rate due to his past success in his ability to take a walk?
- Can Brown become a better player than Soriano?
- Will Brown maintain this walk rate and hit for power while never taking another walk the rest of his career?
I’ve written about Domonic Brown several times in the past on this site, including: the Phillies apparent hatred of Brown, their mismanagement of their prospect, and the Phillies ineffective use of talent. Finally, the Phillies are letting him play and he is producing. As someone who has watched his career progress due to having All-Star predictions about Brown while he was a minor leaguer, the fact that he is even playing is fantastic, but the power and production, even without the walks, is even more exciting.
I have written here several times (10/11/11, 5/20/11, and 7/30/11) about Domonic Brown and the terrible mishandling of the talented, young outfielder by the Philadelphia Phillies. Still just 25 years old, Brown faces another uphill battle with Phillies’ management signing Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal on Tuesday.
Young adds a right-handed element to the Phillies crowded outfield, as he joins Brown, John Mayberry, Jr., Laynce Nix, Darin Ruf, and Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte as possible corner outfielders. Only Ben Revere seems locked into a job in center, with the other six men fighting for two spots.
While Rotoworld stated that Brown will likely see most of his at-bats in right field, you have to wonder if Ruben Amaro, Jr. is going to actually stick to that. He is the same man who said that Brown needed another full season in Triple-A in 2012, only to give the outfielder another up and down season with just 187 major league at-bats and 220 at-bats for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
While Brown is not Jason Heyward, the two were likened to each other at times coming up through the minor leagues. The major difference: Heyward was given an opportunity in Atlanta after posting a .953 OPS over three levels (as high as Triple-A) in 2009, earning the every day right field job in Atlanta in 2010. In 2009, Brown also went through three levels (as high as Double-A), while posting an .880 OPS. He hasn’t received his opportunity yet
Over the last three seasons, Brown now has 465 at-bats in Triple-A and 433 at-bats in the majors. Considering 500 at-bats is the norm for an everyday player, why has Brown been riding the bench in Philadelphia instead of getting everyday at-bats, and if he isn’t ready, why is he not in Lehigh Valley full-time instead of sharing outfield duties with Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco over the last few years?
The Phillies have played with their talent a bit too much, here, and for a team that has so quickly aged with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard leading the offense, they needed to actually give Brown the job and see what he could do, allowing him to prove that he is a failure instead of miscasting him as one without a full opportunity to prove the theory wrong.
While the Phillies rely on Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee to win them so many games in 2013, it is still questionable as to whether the team is going to rely on Domonic Brown. After signing Delmon Y0ung, it looks like the one-time No.4 prospect in all of baseball will have to prove himself and fight for at-bats among a group of less talented peers.
Brown still has value and for a team that seems to have no interest in building around him or giving him an opportunity, perhaps it is time to deal him for a pitcher that doesn’t cost $30 million per season or a younger position player who isn’t earning nearly three times what they are worth, like Rollins, Utley, and Howard.
While they will never catch the Washington Nationals in the National League East, who lead them by 17 games, the Philadelphia Phillies are fighting their way back into relevance in the 2012 season. Having traded outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence at the MLB trade deadline, it looked like a lost season. They were, after all 46-57 at that point, 15.5 games behind the Nationals.
Today, the Phillies are 71-71, 25-14 since the All-Star break and just four games back from St. Louis for the second NL Wild Card. They have won six in a row and 14 of their last 18 games. While the Phils were dangerous heading into this season, they seem even more dangerous now.
Certainly, they are without Pence and Victorino, but the Phillies have been getting production elsewhere since the All-Star break:
* Ryan Howard is back and he is still hitting a lot of home runs (10 in 56 games) and striking out way too much (78 K’s in 203 AB).
* Jimmy Rollins has 10 home runs since the All-Star break, but he is only hitting .234/.299/.440 out of the leadoff spot. While the OBP is weak, his surprising power, 12 steals, and 36 runs are solid.
* Erik Kratz has filled the shoes of Carlos Ruiz, who has missed significant time due to injury after an amazing breakout to start the season, posting a second half line of .261/.315/.523 with seven home runs and 21 RBI in 36 games.
* John Mayberry has provided power with his eight home runs, Juan Pierre has been fantastic (.313/.364/.357) after nearly being traded at the deadline, and Domonic Brown has been productive in his first real shot in the majors while forming the revamped outfield.
* The pitching has been fantastic, as it should have been, with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Kyle Kendrick have combined for a 20-8 record and a 3.03 ERA in 279 innings in the second half, with a 239:54 K:BB.
Needless to say, it is the pitching that is frightening for potential opponents in the playoffs. If the Philadelphia Phillies win a Wild Card spot, they can start Halladay, Lee, or Hamels in the one game playoff. Their rotation has the potential to dominate in the playoffs like Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, but they have a third ace that Arizona did not have.
The postseason is the reason why the Phillies loaded up their rotation. Ruben Amaro, Jr. and ownership may have thought they were cleaning house to ease payroll in hopes of rebuilding through free agency this coming offseason. Now, by riding that same rotation and a few surprisingly productive bats, the Philadelphia Phillies have created a legitimate claim for one of the National League Wild Cards.
With three games at home against Atlanta, six games (three at home and three on the road) against Washington, and some winnable games against Miami, Houston, and the New York Mets, the Phillies do seem to have a legitimate shot. Not many people would have thought that was the case a month ago.
See the slideshow at Bleacher Report:
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
.344/.448/.586, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 572 AB
.327/.431/.596, 49 2B, 37 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 579 AB
How can one of the best hitters in baseball get even better? Adding Prince Fielder to the lineup. The Tigers are going to need run production with Cabrera playing some 3B, as their defense may become as ugly as the Patriots secondary.
2. Albert Pujols, Angels
.299/.366/.541, 29 2B, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 9 SB in 579 AB
.313/.389/.563, 36 2B, 34 HR, 112 RBI, 5 SB in 599 AB
Pujols had a “down” year in 2011. If only everyone could look so good when they’re so “bad.” He’ll rebound with health, and he’ll maintain that health with the ability to DH on occasion. His lineup is filled with vets, but it shouldn’t hold him back THIS YEAR. I still don’t think he’s going to be worth the contract by 2015 or 2016…ARod style.
3. Prince Fielder, Tigers
.299/.415/.566, 36 2B, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 1 SB in 569 AB
.315/.426/.588, 43 2B, 35 HR, 119 RBI, 1 SB in 559 AB
Prince isn’t losing anything by moving away from Ryan Braun’s protection with Miguel Cabrera filling that role nicely. He immediately makes Detroit a contender with his arrival, especially since they were already there before he got there. Scary good with the Comerica Park gaps.
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
.338/.410/.548, 45 2B, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 1 SB in 630 AB
.327/.422/.553, 39 2B, 33 HR, 124 RBI, 1 SB in 614 AB
Gonzalez will have a full season of a not-God-awful Carl Crawford to drive in, and he’ll be comfortable in Fenway to start the year, so he won’t lose a month of power like he did at the start of 2011.
5. Joey Votto, Reds
.309/.416/.531, 40 2B, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 8 SB in 599 AB
.329/.426/.569, 36 2B, 38 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 587 AB
Votto is a very patient hitter in a lineup that lacks patience. He’ll take pitches and lose RBI’s due to guys not getting on around him, and walking about the same number of times that he strikes out. He’s going to step up his production as he heads towards Free Agency after 2013, developing a market for himself early. He’s in a great ballpark, Great American to be exact, to make it happen.
6. Eric Hosmer, Royals
.293/.334/.465, 27 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB in 523 AB
.287/.362/.501, 31 2B, 26 HR, 89 RBI, 14 SB in 598 AB
Hosmer had a strong rookie season and is only going to get better. 2012 will be the first signs of what he is capable of, but his numbers will continue to climb from here. He has power and is athletic enough to continue stealing bases. He could eventually become a Ryan Braun clone at 1B, with fewer stolen bases. I have him high on the list because he showed what he is capable of in the 2nd half of 2011.
7. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
.248/.341/.494, 26 2B, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 4 SB in 589 AB
.253/.339/.513, 28 SB, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 2 SB in 594 AB
Teixeira’s AVG and SLG have fallen significantly in the last several seasons, and his high strikeout rate suddenly screams that he is on the decline, as he can’t keep up with fastballs like he used to. With that being said, he is still mashing. I have a slight bounceback coming, but he isn’t capable of the high averages and power like he used to be.
8. Michael Young, Rangers
.338/.380/.474, 41 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB in 631 AB
.318/.372/.468, 37 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 97 RBI, 5 SB in 639 AB
Young just keeps hitting. He led the league in hits last year and continues showing the ability to be versatile, which has a lot of value in various fantasy formats. Look for more of the same with a solid lineup around him, even as he continues aging. He showed no signs of breaking down last year.
9. Freddie Freeman, Braves
.282/.346/.448, 32 2B, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB in 571 AB
.294/.357/.467, 34 2B, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 584 AB
With a name this bad, you’d think there was no way that he would be a successful baseball player. Maybe a plumber or sales guy…however, Freeman is very young and is a polished hitter. He’s hitting better than previous super-prospect Jason Heyward has to this point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues to do so in coming years. He may never hit 30-35 homers per season, but he will do more than enough to be an asset in fantasy and for the Braves.
10. Michael Morse, Nationals
.303/.360/.550, 36 2B, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 522 AB
.286/.342/.549, 34 2B, 33 HR, 107 RBI, 1 SB in 571 AB
Morse came out of nowhere, kind of, to post very valuable fantasy numbers in 2011. He has tremendous power and a long swing, which still will make his susceptible to slumps and strikeouts. The Nationals are improving around him, though, so he should continue to build value. He will ultimately be a first baseman, but he will patrol left field to open the season. He could move to first if or when Adam LaRoche’s next injury strikes, but he’ll certainly be there by 2013 for good.
11. Billy Butler, Royals
.291/.361/.461, 44 2B, 19 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB in 597 AB
.314/.379/.501, 41 2B, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 1 SB in 599 AB
12. Ike Davis, Mets
.302/.383/.543, 8 2B, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB in 129 AB
.291/.372/.538, 32 2B, 28 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 586 AB
Davis was headed towards a breakout prior to the ankle injury that he suffered in 2011. Imagine the capabilities in an offense that is relying heavily on him, especially after the fences were moved in. This is the year.
13. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
.301/.412/.547, 23 2B, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 2 SB in 488 AB
.283/.394/.527, 21 2B, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 1 SB in 506 AB
He won’t hit as well with added pressure to perform, but he should maintain health by moving to first. He’s aging, even if he posted a solid season for what seems like the first time in years in 2011, so don’t think he is going to get a whole lot better than last year.
14. Ryan Howard, Phillies
.253/.346/.488, 30 2B, 33 HR, 116 RBI, 1 SB in 557 AB
.247/.339/.479, 23 2B, 26 HR, 82 RBI, 0 SB in 486 AB
Decline City. Major injury + drops in OPS over the last few years = the NL version of Teixeira with a whole lot less to offer. Howard will miss the first month, but he’ll still post solid power numbers. He isn’t a top of the line bat anymore, and he and his teammates are aging quicker than Benjamin Button, only the opposite way.
15. Paul Konerko, White Sox
.300/.388/.517, 25 2B, 31 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB in 543 AB
.309/.392/.524, 28 2B, 33 HR, 110 RBI, 1 SB in 564 AB
There’s no way that Konerko can’t be better in 2011 because Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Gordon Beckham will be better around him. He’ll drive in more runs and see more pitches.
16. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
.221/.323/.483, 27 2B, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 6 SB in 534 AB
.232/.331/.489, 26 2B, 39 HR, 91 RBI, 4 SB in 541 AB
17. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
.250/.333/.474, 9 2B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 4 SB in 156 AB
.259/.341/.510, 28 2B, 25 HR, 84 RBI, 7 SB in 533 AB
18. Yonder Alonso, Padres
.330/.398/.545, 4 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB in 88 AB
.309/.389/.508, 36 2B, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 531 AB
19. Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
.266/.352/.427, 35 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 3 SB in 572 AB
.271/.354/.449, 37 2B, 18 HR, 83 RBI, 2 SB in 576 AB
20. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
.284/.346/.459, 29 2B, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 11 SB in 529 AB
.279/.339/.453, 31 2B, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB in 559 AB
21. Carlos Lee, Astros
.275/.342/.446, 38 2B, 18 HR, 94 RBI, 4 SB in 585 AB
.271/.341/.439, 36 2B, 21 HR, 89 RBI, 2 SB in 591 AB
22. Justin Morneau, Twins
.227/.285/.333, 16 2B, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 264 AB
.264/.326/.411, 21 2B, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 0 SB in 403 AB
If he stays on the field, he’s still going to have to adjust and be consistent. Chris Parmelee may be the best Twins first baseman to own going forward.
23. Justin Smoak, Mariners
.234/.323/.396, 24 2B, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB in 427 AB
.271/.359/.489, 31 2B, 22 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB in 568 AB
This is the year, guys! Smoak stays healthy, has help with Montero coming over, and he develops. He’s still just 25!
24. Aubrey Huff, Giants
.246/.306/.370, 27 2B, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 5 SB in 521 AB
.261/.326/.409, 31 2B, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 4 SB in 535 AB
25. Carlos Pena, Rays
.225/.357/.462, 27 2B, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 2 SB in 493 AB
.231/.379/.491, 26 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 2 SB in 519 AB
26. James Loney, Dodgers
.288/.339/.416, 30 2B, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 4 SB in 531 AB
.281/.341/.421, 34 2B, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 3 SB 546 AB
27. Casey Kotchman, Indians
.306/.378/.422, 24 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 2 SB in 500 AB
.311/.386/.441, 31 2B, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 1 SB in 562 AB
28. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
.251/.295/.439, 16 2B, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB in 499 AB
.255/.310/.441, 18 2B, 29 HR, 84 RBI, 1 SB in 512 AB
29. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
.259/.320/.414, 22 2B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 2 SB in 464 AB
.265/.329/426, 29 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 3 SB in 520 AB
30. Todd Helton, Rockies
.302/.385/.466, 27 2B, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 0 SB in 421 AB
.294/.376/.459, 24 2B, 13 HR, 67 RBI, 0 SB in 432 AB
Is anyone in Philadelphia phalling for the phluf phlowing phrom the mouth of Ruben Amaro, Jr.? Amaro was quoted in the Reading Eagle on Sunday, saying this about Ryan Howard’s contract compared to Prince Fielder’s and Albert Pujols’ contracts:
“I’m kind of happy,” Amaro said. “Really happy because if I would’ve had to put eight or nine years on Howard’s deal right now, that would be a little disconcerting. Right now we have Howard for the next five years. I kind of like that rather than giving an eight-, nine- or 10-year deal.”
Seriously? You’re happy that you’re paying a higher annual salary for a lesser player? I don’t think Pujols will be worth his salary in 2015, let alone 2022, but check this out:
Pujols: 10-year, $240 million – $24 million/year
Fielder: 9-year, $214 million – $23.7 million/year
Howard: 5-year, $125 million – $25 million/year
Howard just turned 32-years-old in November, so he’ll be heading into his decline years halfway through this contract, which was signed in April of 2010 as an extension. However, is Howard already in a decline? Howard signed his extention after an incredible 2009:
.279/.360/.571, 105 R, 37 2B, 45 HR, 141 RBI, 186/75 K/BB with a WAR of 4.4.
Then, the extention came.
2010: .276/.353/.505, 87 R, 23 2B, 31 HR, 108 RBI, 157/59 K/BB, WAR 2.0
2011: .253/.346/.488, 81 R, 30 2B, 33 HR, 116 RBI, 172/75 K/BB, WAR 2.7
Very slowly, Howard’s batting average has gone down, his on-base percentage has gone down, and his slugging percentage has gone down. Add in the fact that he is now coming back from a debilitating injury to the foundation of his swing, a torn Achilles tendon, and you can wonder what 2012 will bring for the slugger. While Howard’s career strikeout rate of 27.4% includes the 25.3% that he posted in 2010 and 26.7% that he posted in 2011, he remains someone that strikes out well above the league average, which is a scary part to his aging process. Are there Adam Dunn-2011 seasons ahead?
The issue with Philadelphia is that with their new stadium came revenue. They’ve done well by investing the funds back into the roster, but have they done it correctly? You never know how young guys are going to work out, but occasionally, teams need to hang onto them or at least give them a chance. Howard deserved an extention, but probably not the length or money involved due to age and skill-set alone. With John Mayberry, Jr. and Domonic Brown, the Phillies knew that they had talent to build around, even in April of 2010. What have they done by locking up Howard, trading the first baseman of the future (Jonathan Singleton) for a right fielder (Hunter Pence), and blocking prospects by making trades and questionable signings?
Look at the latest! The Phillies must loathe Domonic Brown. They signed Juan Pierre to a Minor League contract, which, while it isn’t guaranteed, would positively block Brown from earning a roster spot. At 6’5″, 205 lbs and 24-years of age, Brown has posted an .834 OPS over six Minor League seasons, including a .390 OBP and .843 OPS in Triple-A. Pierre’s career OBP is .345, his career OPS is .708, and if you’re getting him for his speed…he was 27 of 44 stealing last year, 61.4%.
Ruben Amaro, Jr. needs to look around the National League East. The Marlins are building, the Braves are still there, and the Nationals look legit. He really needs to phocus on phinding talent within and building around it. Pretty soon, phans will phind out that his contracts and the way that he has built the roster will be a pharce.