clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Top 50 All-Time Greatest Jays: #47 Roy Howell

 Roy Lee Howell | 3B | 1977-1980



Runs Created as a Jay: 264

Notable Accomplishment: All-Star 1978

Roy Howell, born December 18, 1953 in Lompoc, California, was drafted in the first round of the 1972 amateur draft by the Texas Rangers with the 4th pick. That was the first season for the Texas Rangers, they had just moved from Washington and Howell was their first ever pick. There weren't that many big names picked in the first round that year. Chet Lemon was the 22nd pick in the first round but there wasn't anyone else chosen in the first round that was much better than Howell (maybe Scott McGregor). The number one pick overall was Dave Roberts. There were two Hall of Famers picked in the 3rd round that year, Dennis Eckersley and Gary Carter.

Roy made it to the majors in 1974 at the age of 20 for 13 games, and then in '75 and '76 he was the regular third sacker for the Rangers. He was pretty unspectacular hitting .251 and .253 with 10 and 8 homeruns those seasons. On May 9th of 1977 he was traded to the Jays for Steve Hargan, has-been starting pitcher, Jim Mason, a SS who in his good seasons flirted with the Mendoza line and $200,000.

1977 was Roy's best season with the Jays batting .316/.386/.451 for an Ops+ of 127. The Jays were, well, pretty awful in their first season of existence and they weren't much better the next year when Howell hit .271/.325/.376, hitting 8 homeruns, scoring 67 runs and driving home 61. He was the Jay's representative at the All-Star game that year, because, well someone had to be and appeared in the game as a pinch hitter.

In 1979 Roy played in 140 games, batted .247/.310/.405 with 15 homeruns and 72 RBI not terrible but not want you would want out of your third baseman. 1980 was Toronto's first season with less than 100 losses (95), Howell hit .269/.335/.413 for a OPS+ of exactly 100. With 10 homeruns and 57 RBI he was pretty much average with the bat.

With the glove? He had average range but, I guess the polite way of saying it would be, he was error prone. In his 4 seasons with the Jays he made 60 errors in 489 games at 3B for a fielding percentage of about .955.

After the 1980 season he signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers where he played for 4 seasons as a platoon 3B/DH. The Brewers made it to the World Series once in the Harvey Wallbanger period but lost out to the Cardinals. Roy went 0 for 11 in 4 games. Roy signed with the San Francisco Giants before the 1985 season but was released during spring training.

When he left the Blue Jays he held the team records for career hits, RBI and strikeouts, but then it was a very young franchise at the time. Roy also has the team record for RBI in a game driving in 9 against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium September 10, 1977. He hit .272/.335/.407 in his career with the Jays.

After retirement Howell played for a season in the Senior Professional Baseball Association. And has coached and managed in the San Diego Padres minor league system. He currently manages the SLO Rattlers and this year he was named California Collegiate League Manager of the Year. He lives in Shell Beach, CA with his family.

Roy Howell's ranking among Jay hitters:
35th Games Played
29th At Bats
33rd Runs Scored
29th Hits
29th Total Bases
30th Doubles
20th Triples
37th in Home Runs
31st in RBI
27th Walks
29th in Runs Created
27th in Extra Base Hits
14th in Intention Walks