Heyward vs. Howard
I flew into the ATL this morning, checked into my hotel and grabbed the local paper to read during lunch at the diner down the street.
It didn't take long to see the first comparison between Ryan Howard (6-4, 255 pounds) and Atlanta Braves rookie Jason Heyward (6-5, 240).
The 20-year-old Heyward has been featured by nearly every media outlet since spring training, and with good reason - he looks like an honest-to-goodness can't-miss prospect. After two weeks into his major league career, he reminds me of Ken Griffey Jr. - a young kid that's ready to be a star right away.
I wrote about him some today... but after seeing the Howard-Heyward comparisons in today's Atlanta paper, I decided to do a little research on just how good Howard was when he became a regular, everyday player with the Phillies (as Heyward is now).
One thing to notice right away is Heyward's career is beginning five years earlier than Howard: Heyward, again, is just 20 years old; Howard was 25 as a rookie.
Let's take a look at how Heyward in 12 games now compares to Howard in his first 12 games in July of 2005, when the Phillies first baseman began to play regularly (Jim Thome had just gone on the DL).
Howard in July of '05: .255 (12-for-47) with three home runs, 11 RBIs, 5 extra-base hits, seven runs, 15 strikeouts.
Heyward in April of '10: .302 (13-for-43) with three home runs, 15 RBIs, 6 extra-base hits, seven runs, 16 strikeouts.
And if we're keeping score just head to head in '10: Howard is .309-3-14 while Heyward is .302-3-15.
In any event, it should be fun to watch these guys in action in Atlanta this week. Howard likes to hit here: .336, 15 home runs and 46 RBIs in 42 games.