Player of the Week: Ryan Howard

After a .219 season at the plate in 2012, Ryan Howard is making serious headway on the Comeback Player of the Year front, and this past week, the Phillies needed their big man in a big way.

Before this week, Philadelphia Phillis slugger Ryan Howard was well on his way to recovering from a dreadful 2012, in which he hit .219 in 71 games.

Now, after 71 games in 2013, Howard has started to show signs of life, thanks in large part to his last seven days.

In six games over the past week, Howard led the Major Leagues in slugging (1.095), was seventh in the bigs in batting average (.476), sixth in home runs (3, to give him 10 on the year), fourth in extra-base hits with six and fourth in total bases (23). He's also driven in seven runs, including a four-RBI performance on June 22.

But, it hasn't just been the last seven days that have seen Howard heat up. He's reached base safely in each of his last 10 games, with six walks to go along with his 17 hits. Over the last seven days, Howard has tallied at least one hit in each of his last six games, with three multi-hit games.

The Phillies have gone 3-3 over the past week, and after losing back-to-back games against the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, Howard sparked Philadelphia to an 8-7 win over the Metropolitans, driving in two runs with an RBI single in the bottom of the first, sending a solo homer out to left in the bottom of the fourth and another solo shot out to right in the bottom of the fifth as part of a 3-for-4 day at the dish.

Howard also powered a one-run win over the Nats on June 17, going 3-for-3 with a run, one home run and two RBIs. Howard answered a Jayson Werth RBI single in the top of the first with a circuit shot in the bottom of the second, and after an RBI double by Steve Lombardozzi in the top of the fourth, Howard drove in Ben Revere in the bottom of the fifth to put the Phillies up, 4-2, in the eventual 5-4 win.

Previous POWs
June 10-16 Carlos Gonzalez
June 3-9: Yasiel Puig
May 26-June 2: Domonic Brown
May 20-26: Mike Trout
May 13-19: Justin Masterson
May 6-12: Evan Longoria
April 29-May 5: Ryan Raburn
April 22-28: Jeff Locke
April 15-21: Mike Trout
April 8-14: Prince Fielder

Ryan Gorcey covers Major League Baseball and publishes for and FOX Sports NEXT. Follow him on twitter at @RGBearTerritory.

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