Milwaukee Brewers August MVP: Ryan Braun
With the Milwaukee Brewers enjoying a scheduled off day today, we can officially close the book on the month of August. The Brewers went 11-15 on the month, though the offense did their part by averaging a shade under 4.5 runs per game over the month. Milwaukee’s beleaguered pitching staff threw to a collective 4.89 ERA, at one point going through a nine game stretch where a starter failed to complete six innings. The Brewers now sit at 55-75 on the season, fourth place in the NL Central division (thanks to a truly awful 7-21 mark by the Cincinnati Reds this month).
The Brewers offense featured four qualified hitters that put up above average marks offensively in the month of August, but there can be only one Most Valuable Player. While Khris Davis “khrushed” a flashy 10 home runs this month, he ranked only 3rd among hitters on the team by fWAR. The Milwaukee Brewers’ August MVP is:
OF Ryan Braun
104 PA || .326/.394/.573 || 5 HR || 3 SB || .413 wOBA || 161 wRC+ || 0.9 fWAR
Braun’s 0.9 fWAR in August led the Brewers by 0.3 wins, and he was also the club leader with 30 hits and 17 runs scored. Ryan had nine multi-hit games and slugged 12 extra base hits, adding five doubles and a triple to his home run total. He drove in 14 runs, as well. Braun’s .413 wOBA average was 50 points higher than anyone else on the team, and he created runs at a rate of 61% percent higher than league average during the month.
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Braun also accomplished a record feat during the month, slugging his 252nd career home run on August 19th and passing Robin Yount for the Brewers’ franchise leader in long balls. Braun is arguably the best hitter in the history of the Milwaukee Brewers, and he only further cemented himself in franchise lore by setting the all-time home run mark. To his credit, Yount (who attained the record more through longevity than he did raw home run power) congratulated Braun and was pleased a power hitter had finally eclipsed his total.
August continued the 31 year old Braun’s resurgent 2015 season, countering the narrative that he’s done as a major offensive threat, or that he can’t be an elite player without steroids. An All-Star this year, Braun is now hitting .278/.347/.504 in 499 plate appearances with 24 home runs. He needs two more stolen bases for his fourth career 20/20 season (and first since 2012). Ryan’s 37.3% hard hit rate is the third highest mark of his career. He’s creating runs at a rate 28% higher than league average this year and has been valued at 2.5 fWAR and 3.1 rWAR this year. Considering the rate for one WAR is somewhere around $7-8 mil, Braun is delivering excellent value on his $12 mil salary this season. How’s that for washed up?
Braun gets some extra credit points, also, for hitting the home run that sent Bernie Brewer down the slide in Milwaukee’s 4-1 win against Cincinnati on August 30th. It was the first game that I took my 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl to, and they were hooked by the fireworks, cheering, and the mustachioed, flag-waving mascot that were set in motion by the Hebrew Hammer’s laser over the left field wall in the first inning. Ryan Braun definitely earned himself two new fans for life, and is the rightful winner of the RtB’s August Most Valuable Player award.