Phillies slugger Ryan Howard wins NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Ryan Howard, who took over for injured Jim Thome at first base for the Philadelphia Phillies and led all first-year players in the major leagues in home runs with 22, was elected the National League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Howard, who turns 26 next week, placed first on 19 of the 32 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on three and third on five for a total of 109 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. The left-handed slugger batted .288 and drove in 63 runs in 88 games and 312 at-bats, including 11 homers and 27 RBI in September/October. Howard is the fourth Phillies player honored, joining Scott Rolen, Dick Allen and Jack Sanford.

Houston Astros outfielder Willy Taveras (.291, 172 H, 82 R, 34 SB) received seven first-place votes and was the runner-up with 78 points. Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francouer (.300, 14 HR, 45 RBI) ranked third with 60 points, including two first-place votes. Pittsburgh Pirates lefthander Zach Duke (8-2, 1.81 ERA) received three first-place votes but was listed on only one other ballot and was fifth. The other first-place vote went to Colorado Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins (.287, 13 HR, 89 RBI, 31 2B, 221 TB), who ranked fourth overall.

The vote:

Ryan HowardPhiladelphia Phillies1935109
Willy TaverasHouston Astros7111078
Jeff FrancouerAtlanta Braves214860
Garrett AtkinsColorado Rockies12617
Zach DukePittsburgh Pirates3116
Jeff FrancisColorado Rockies13
Rickie WeeksMilwaukee Brewers13
Clint BarmesColorado Rockies11
Jason VargasFlorida Marlins11