So why is there so much doubt that he will have a bust in Cooperstown? Actually there are quite a few reasons.
Howard struck out a lot. He led the NL in whiffs twice and as of this writing is 14th all-time in that category. This would especially become a problem as his production waned but his punchouts continued. Defensively, he was atrocious and he was not a good baserunner. His career bWAR of 15.0 reflects those deficiencies and with each passing year it is a stat that becomes more important for voters.
Still, can you imagine the late 2000’s Philadelphia Phillies without him?We can’t either.