Former Southwest Missouri St. baseball player Ryan Howard has been named the National League Rookie of the Year. Howard played just 88 games with the Phillies this season, but certainly made the most of them: he hit .288 with 22 home runs and 63 RBI’s.

Howard received 19-of-32 first-place votes, outpacing Astros outfielder Willy Taveras, who was second in the balloting. A’s reliever Huston Street was named the AL Rookie of the Year.

This is the third straight year that Howard has received a post-season award, though the previous two have come in the minor leagues. In 2003 he was named the Florida State League’s Most Valuable Player and he won the MVP for the Eastern League in 2004.

At SMS, Howard hit 50 home runs and drove in 183 in three seasons. He was the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in 1999 and drafted by the Phillies in 2001, after his junior year.

Howard attended Lafayette High School in the St. Louis area.