The starters have been unveiled for the 2015 all-star game. While there are not many surprises on the National League list, but two of the starters in the NL’s outfield are currently on the disabled list (Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Holiday). With two spots open, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun should not only make the team, but also start on July 14th in Cincinnati.
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With players like Andrew McCutchen, Joc Pederson, Nori Aoki, Starling Marte, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton as options, Braun is certainly deserving to get the nod. While previously it was thought that his suspension would hurt his future all-star status that topic should no longer be an issue. Other previously suspended players, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta are already in the lineup.
Entering this season Braun was one of the biggest question marks for the Brewers’ lineup, but first half has silenced many doubters. With a steadily climbing average of .276 Braun is starting to look much like the hitter he was back at the start of his career and less like the injury plagued hitter he was last season. Not only is he leading NL outfielders in almost all offensive categories, but he is also among the top 10 in many categories in the league. Right now he is seventh in the NL in runs scored and home runs and sixth in the league in RBIs.
Braun’s biggest competition for the final spots I feel will be McCutchen and Pederson. While Pederson has shown power in his first full season, his .234 average should be enough for Braun to pass him up.
Braun is booed everywhere he goes and his not liked by many around the league, but that shouldn’t keep him back from being a starter. With the game now meaning something and the goal to put the best players on the field, Braun needs to find his name penciled in the lineup as the game begins.