Milwaukee Brewers: Is Ryan Braun still the superstar he once was?

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 21: Ryan Braun
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 21: Ryan Braun /

On May 25, 2007, the Milwaukee Brewers called up Ryan Braun, beginning a new era for the franchise. Is the end nearing for this lifelong Brewer?

From his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in ’07 through the ’12 season, Ryan Braun was the definition of a superstar. Playing alongside the likes of Corey Hart and Prince Fielder, Braun helped the franchise become a legitimate threat in the National League.

Over 3,854 plate appearances, through his first 883 games played, Braun hit .313 while mashing 202 home runs and driving in 643 runs. That was superstar production for a solid five plus seasons.

With five All Star appearances, one Rookie of the Year award, and one NL MVP by 2012, Braun was poised to become the face of Major League Baseball.

With such great success, comes a lot of added pressure. Braun had the hopes of a downtrodden franchise heaped upon his shoulders. During the 2013 season, Braun received a 65-game suspension for testing positive for PED’s.

His reputation with fans definitely took a hit, but he still has ample time to change his narrative. Most Brewers fans are loyal, so a chance at redemption will always be on the table.

Can Braun Truly Recover?

Over the previous three seasons, Braun’s numbers have dipped noticeably. He’s hit .285 with 74 home runs and 256 RBIs. Not bad numbers for most Major Leaguers, but far below the lofty standards he had set for himself.

What’s good for the Milwaukee Brewers is they don’t necessarily need Braun to be a superstar. They just need him available for 140-150 games a season. Unfortunately for the Crew, Braun has only averaged 137 games per season over the last three years.

With his wealth of experience, this young Brewers squad is lucky to have Ryan Braun. Having been a part of playoff teams with Milwaukee twice before (’08 and ’11), he has been through the rigors of a pennant race, and knows what it takes to get to the playoffs. Along with manager Craig Counsell at the helm, this team is in very good hands.

At 33 years old, there is still a lot of life left in his bat. Unfortunately, it would seem his status as a superstar is no more. That being said, there are numerous examples of players who still helped their team win, even after no longer playing at their peak.

Next: Should The Brewers Worry About The Cubs?

At this point, that’s all Brewers fans can ask for from Ryan Braun. He is still a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the Brewers lineup. While he may no longer be putting up superstar numbers, Braun is still very vital to the success of the 2017 Milwaukee Brewers. If the Brew Crew can hold onto the lead in the National League Central division, having his playoff experience could prove crucial.