Milwaukee Brewers’ Grades: Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun entered the season with a lot to prove. Not only was he coming back from a nagging thumb injury that he dealt with for much of 2014, but he was coming off of the worst year of his career. Just as he has constantly had to do in the past, Braun did an excellent job proving doubters wrong. After being shutdown a bit early, here is a review of Braun’s season.
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This season Braun again solidified himself as one of the best outfielders in the game today. He finished the year with 25 home runs, 85 RBIs and a .854 OPS. Though none of these numbers were career highs, he was still able to finish in the top-10 among National League outfielders in home runs, RBIs, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Also after a two year absence, he was able to represent the NL as a reserve outfielder in the all-star game.
Not only did Braun solidify himself as one of the team’s biggest offensive weapons, but he also wrote his name in the record book as he took over first place all-time in home runs in Brewers’ history.
After a tough April, Braun found his power stroke in May to hit eight home runs for the month. Though that was his best power month of the season, he finished the second half of the season hitting .301 after the break, which allowed him to push closer to .300 for the season.
People like to point to his .285 batting average and say he is no where close to the player he once was, but he remains one of the biggest forces in the lineup.
Braun will have back surgery in the offseason and his new contract will kick in to start 2016, but just like he has proved doubters wrong throughout his career, I wouldn’t bet against him coming back strong again next year. He has regressed from the hitter he was earlier in his career, when he was a yearly Silver Slugger and MVP candidate, but he still remains one of the most talented players to every play in the organization.
2015 Grade: B+