I'm not saying that he will put up better numbers...the point of the thread isn't that the person will be better...at least that't not how I see it. I think the thread is more geared towards players who will be undervalued...maybe I used the wrong words.
I do think, however, that Howard will likely be a top 5 1b, and if not this year, will certainly be one in the years to come.
Oh, I understood what you meant, but Howard is going as early as the 5th round in mocks. Now he MIGHT produce 5th round numbers this year, if everything breaks just right. I say he doesn't. A better "plays great..." example is probably Morneau, or Prince Fielder compared to Ryan Howard. You can actually get one of those guys 10 rounds later. 1st base is so frickin' deep that if I can't get Pujols or Tex and then miss out on Helton/Delgado/Lee/Berkman/Dunn/Konerko/Sexson, there is no way I'm going to reach for Ryan Howard to make up for that if I can wait for Giambi/Thome/Fielder/Morneau. See what I mean?
I think I am gonna act like the self-appointed Howard/Utley police around here this spring and see how that goes. BTW, Kent will (ironically) provide better value than Utley this year.
edit: I rattled off all of those 1bmen and for got about Papi!! and maybe Pronk!! there are no fewer than 15 other 1B who are comparable to or better than Ryan Howard.