Player A: .256/.328/.535, 47 r, 76 h, 19 dbl, 2 trpl, 20 hr, 60 rbi, 3 sb, 30 bb, 93 k, and 4 errors.
Player B: .260/.396/.528, 36 r, 70 h, 12 dbl, 20 hr, 56 rbi, 61 bb, 87 k, and 8 errors.
Player C: .270/.357/.554, 50 r, 77 h, 16 dbl, 1 trpl, 21 hr, 56 rbi, 13 sb, and 13 errors.
*Stats through 7/2/09
By looking at the numbers you can see these players are poor fielding, strikeout prone, mediocre batting average sluggers. One player is regressing, one is consistent, and the other is progressing. However, only one of these players gets all the hype. Player A- Ryan Howard, Player B- Adam Dunn, Player C- Mark Reynolds.
Regressing- Ryan Howard set an arbitration record for 1st year eligible players and agreed to a ginormous arbitration years buyout this offseason (3 years/$54M). If you believed everything you read and heard, you would think Howard is the best player in the game, or at least the best 1st baseman. Thing is, he's not, and he's entirely overrated. In fact, his OPS is dipping again for the third straight season after a high water mark of 1.084 in '06 (currently .864). His OPS against lefthanded pitching is following the same trend, and southpaws are dominating him this season (.615 OPS). He's been a horrible fielder up until this season, but he's recently started botching plays again. I watch him on daily basis and am amazed by his power, but I'm also amazed by his inability to make contact with men on 3rd and less than 2 outs, or his errant throws into left-centerfield when he attempts to initiate a double play. People will point to his homerun and rbi numbers, in which he's the MLB leader in both categories since 2006, but the rbi's are a product of the lineup he bats in and homeruns are great, but they're not everything. He's a fine player, and entertaining to watch, but he does not deserve all the praise heaped upon him. Average #'s per 162 games: 102 r, 164 h, 30 dbl, 2 trpl, 49 hr, 140 rbi, 1 sb, 91 bb, 197 k, .276/.374/.583. His batting average hasn't been that high since 2006 or his OPS since 2007.
Consistent- Adam Dunn is only 10 days older than Ryan Howard, both are 29 this season. So why is it that a man coming off of 5 straight 40+ homerun seasons only secured himself a 2 year $20M deal in free agency when Ryan Howard got that mega-deal and he was still under team control? The answer is hype, Howard is hyped, Dunn is not. Dunn is actually slandered for some strange reason, even though they're both essentially the same player. Dunn doesn't possess quite the power that Howard does, but his bat is every bit as potent, plus he works the walk. Put Dunn in the Phils lineup, instead of a putrid Reds or Nationals lineup, and he'd have a better rbi total too. Adam is a terrible outfielder defensively and belongs at 1st base, but he's not much better there either. Average #'s per 162 games: 99 r, 137 h, 29 dbl, 1 trpl, 40 hr, 98 rbi, 8 sb, 115 bb, 180 k, .248/.382/.519.
Progressing- The youngest of the trio is Mark Reynolds at 25, and he's also the worst fielding. This kid has tons of upside and it's starting to show this season. He can't field a lick at 3rd or 1st, but hot damn his bat is good. Strange thing though, you don't hear much about him. Why not? He has more homeruns than Howard. He has more stolen bases than speedsters Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino. Put him in Boston, LA, or NY and you've got yourself a bonafide superstar in the making, but alas he dwells in Arizona where he's forgotten. Average #'s per 162 games: 95 r, 147 h, 31 dbl, 4 trpl, 32 hr, 103 rbi, 11 sb, 66 bb, 209 k, .259/.338/.492.
I just don't understand why Howard gets all the love, yet there are very similar players out there that don't.