Milwaukee Brewers: Is Ryan Braun Back?


Like it or not Ryan Braun is here to stay for 2015 and probably beyond. Unless he is able to have a season like Matt Kemp was able to put together last season, he is not going anywhere, especially in season. But after a recent surge the question becomes is Ryan Braun back? Here a few reasons why he may be turning the corner.

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First off, I need to knock on wood somewhere, but Braun is finally healthy. After battling that thumb injury, there have been no complaints of the injury lingering from number eight all season. Though he still gets hammered for not pulling the ball often enough, he is finally able to get full extension on pitches and drive the ball with authority up the middle of the field.

Secondly, he is driving the ball with authority. According to Fangraphs, Braun’s hard hit rate is right at 40 percent. These numbers currently rank in the top-20 in the game today. Though some of the balls have not been dropping, he has started to square up balls with the best of them.

Finally, his power has started to come back. After hitting four home runs in April, Braun already has homered five times in May. His nine home runs are currently good enough for seventh in the National League. With almost a fourth of the season in, Braun is currently on pace for a 37-home run season. These numbers would be good enough to tie his second best season of his career. While I don’t see him reaching 37 home runs, finishing the year near 30 homers would be a giant leap in the right direction in a league where 30-plus home runs has now become a rarity.

After being burned several times before, it his hard to side with Braun and take things too seriously when he starts hitting. He still swings a balls out of the zone and often gets rung up on pitches that are in the zone, but he really looks to be putting things together again.

Many point to Braun’s .259 batting average and are quick to criticize, but things look to be turning around there, too. He has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games in which his average has raised nearly 40 points. He may never be that truly dominant player again, but the way things have been going he looks to be moving more towards respectability, which would not only make him a valued piece to the Brewers offense, but a movable piece come winter.

Next: Scooter Gennett's Foggy Future

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