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Even Better Than the MVP

How good is Ryan Howard?  He's having a better season this year than last year, when he won the MVP award and had one of the best offensive seasons anyone wearing a Phillies uniform has ever had.

How's that though?  This year his OPS is 65 points lower and he struggled mightily in the first month.  Right?

Well, I'm cheating a bit here.  As I did previously, I'm looking at his season this year since he came back from the disabled list.  If you think of May 25, his first day back, as the start of his injury-free season, he's having an even bigger monster year this year.

First, let's look at the averages from last year compared to the 50 games he's played since May 25:

2006 0.313 0.425 0.659 1.084 10.02 1.68
2007* 0.318 0.417 0.708 1.126 9.14 2.06

Howard's batting average and on-base percentage are roughly the same as last year, but he's slugging at an even more incredible rate. He's topping his second-best-ever-for-a-Phillie .659 slugging percentage by almost 50 points. His .708 SLG would be the best ever for a Phillie (21 points higher than Chuck Klein's .687 in 1930), and it would put him in the top 30 seasons of all time.

How would his counting stats compare if extrapolated over an entire season?

2006 581 104 182 58 149 108 181
2007* 611 124 194 67 184 108 223

There's very little qualitative that's worth adding here other than that, from this perspective, Howard's performance has been jaw-droppingly amazing since he's come back healthy.

Here's to an injury free remaining 64 games!