In yesterday's 4-2 to the Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies' 1B Ryan Howard hit his major league leading 42nd HR and drove in his major league leading 126th RBI. In a season where he might be the only hitter to surpass 40 HRs, one could not be blamed for believing Howard is one of the game's most valuable properties.
The issue is not so much his prodigous K totals, but the attendent .241 AVG that accompanies so many fewer balls put in play. If the combo of HRs and AVG doesn't immediate recall Adam Dunn of the Cincinnati Reds/Arizona Diamondbacks, nothing will.
My question is when would you take Howard? In the late first/second round where he went last season or the 4th where Adam Dunn is taken. I won't even consider the possibilty that his record 1st-year arbitration award of $10MM last winter may lead to a trade away from homer-friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark.