Looking back at 4 Phillies Rookie of the Year Award winners
By Matt Rappa
Ryan Howard (2005)
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 amateur draft out of Missouri State University, first baseman Ryan Howard played in parts of four professional seasons in the minors before making his Major League Baseball debut in September 2004.
Howard showed promise, slugging five doubles, a pair of home runs, and five RBI across 19 games in the final month of the season — the Phillies franchise’s first at Citizens Bank Park.
Then came the Big Piece’s eye-catching Rookie of the Year award-winning season in 2005, which would be eventual-Hall of Fame slugger Jim Thome‘s last in his first of two Phillies playing stints. Spanning 88 games and 348 plate appearances that year, Howard slashed .288/.356/.567 with 17 doubles, two triples, 22 home runs, and 63 RBI.
In earning the prestigious award for rookies, Howard bested second-place finisher Willy Taveras of the Houston Astros, as well as third-place finisher Jeff Francoeur of the Atlanta Braves. Francouer would go on to play 118 games for the Phillies exactly one decade later.
- Ryan Howard: 3.1 WAR, 88 G, 312 AB, 52 R, 90 H, 22 HR, 63 RBI, 33 BB, .288/.356/.567
- Willy Taveras: 1.9 WAR, 152 G, 592 AB, 82 R, 172 H, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 34 SB, 25 BB, .291/.325/.341
- Jeff Francoeur: 3.0 WAR, 70 G, 257 AB, 41 R, 77 H, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 3 SB, 11 BB, .300/.336/.549
Howard finished his career playing 13 seasons, all with the Phillies; in total, he slugged 382 home runs and 1,194 RBI.