Ryan Howard, prior to his 2010 season, averaged about 45 HRs and 140 RBIs per season in his first four seasons in major league baseball. Then in 2010, Howard "slumped" to 31 HRs and 108 RBIs, and triple slash lined .276-.353-.505. His 2010 HR and RBIs totals were still good enough for top 15 in both categories. Howard supporters argue that his numbers were down because he missed 17 games due to injury in 2010, and that he missed them in the second half when he usually turns things on at the plate powerwise.
Coming into the 2011 season, Howard's draft stock dropped for several reasons. One was because he underperformed expectations in 2010. Secondly, many thought the Phillies would have trouble scoring runs this season with the loss of Chase Utley to injury and Jayson Werth to free agency.
Last night, he went 2-4 with 2 HRs, 2 runs scored and 6 RBIs. For the season, he is hitting .302-.364-.583 with 6 HRs and 27 RBIs. He is striking out a bit more and walking a bit less than he did in 2010, and his walk rate has been declining for 4 straight years, actually.
Can Howard get back to his 45-140 power numbers in 2011?