Ryan Howard has been ‘The Big Piece’ starting at 1st base since 2005 (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
7. RYAN HOWARD, 1st Baseman
The 2005 National League Rookie of the Year became the National League Most Valuable Player a year later. From his debut in 2004 through the 2011 season, Howard was perhaps the most feared slugger in the entire National League.
2nd on the Phillies franchise all-time Homeruns list with 334 dingers, Howard crushed 30+ longballs every year from 2006-11. He set a franchise record with 58 homers in 2006, and had 45 or more every year in his prime from 2006-09.
When the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, Howard was the NL MVP runner-up. He was 3rd in NL MVP voting the following year, and also was the 2009 NLCS Most Valuable Player. During this time he was christened with his nickname as being not just one piece, but ‘The Big Piece’ in the Phillies attack.
Howard has been a 5x NL All-Star, a Silver Slugger Award winner (2006), a 2x NL Homerun champ (2006, 2008) and a 4x NL RBI champion. He also won the Homerun Derby at the 2006 All-Star Game.
Power is something that has become increasingly rare in the post-PED era of Major League Baseball. Howard brought an intimidating presence to the Phillies lineup during their Glory Era of the late-00’s, and was a vital part of the 2008 World Series champions.