Howard Works with Bonds

Thumbnail image for howard and bonds.jpgIn case you missed it
, Barry Bonds shared some interesting information with reporters yesterday in San Francisco:

He worked with Ryan Howard this offseason.

That’s interesting for a couple reasons:

1) No matter what your opinion of Bonds is, whether or not you think his statistics are legitimate or not (most don’t), he was an excellent hitter with an incredible approach at the plate.

2) Howard is hitting .357 (10 for 28) with three doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBIs through six games. He has struck out just four times. Howard had struck in 32.4 percent of his at-bats in his career, but has struck out in just 14.3 percent of his at-bats this year. It’s just six games, but I know Howard wants to be more selective at the plate because he will see a steady diet of breaking balls.

“We worked. We talked. We did a little bit of everything,” Howard said. “I’m trying to learn from him.”

Howard wouldn’t get into specifics, but he said they generally talked about how to improve his approach at the plate and “finding that comfortable spot.”

“What he did for me was great,” Howard said. “That was huge. You don’t get too many chances to really work with somebody that you grew up idolizing. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play this game. For me it was an honor to just sit there and listen and watch. He’s so smart as far this game is concerned. The things that he knows, the things that he was telling me and teaching me, I hope to continue to learn. That’s the thing about this game. You’re always trying to make adjustments. You’re always trying to learn. And who better to learn from than one of the best players in the game?”


I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Uglyfrom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Borders on S. Broad Street in Center City. I hope you can stop by. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


This is great to hear. Bonds was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, and I firmly believe he would have been with or without the S-word. Though it’s only been a week, Howard’s refined approach at the plate and increased discipline is very, very encouraging. I don’t consider myself in a position to talk about players’ workout routines, but Howard always seemed like one that was dedicated to improving his game even after he hit it big — losing the weight, improving his defense, and now trying to fix his liabilities at the plate.

I continue to admire Howard’s approach to the game. He’s consistently proven that he’s a student of the game and wants to learn and improve his approach to all facets (hitting, fielding, etc.) even after he signed his contract extension, he was working with Sam P on his defense.

Hope Cole has a great home opener! GO PHILS!!

A couple of years ago I had Howard figured as a one-trick-pony who would lose his productivity due to his body type and end up as an AL DH.
Now, I am not so sure of that assessment. He is apparently a hard worker who does not rest on his laurels and is intent on improving as a baseball player. His body now looks more ike Dave Winfield than John Mayberry. I am duly impressed and it looks like he is only going to get better.

Howard is going to have a break out season!!

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