Ryan Braun is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2020. With a long and storied Milwaukee Brewers career, Braun is approaching a few statistical milestones.
Back at Brewers On Deck, Ryan Braun mentioned that 2020 could be his final season. He knows that the team will decline their end of his $15MM mutual option for 2021, and if they don’t want him back at a lower salary, he might just retire.
As sad as it would be knowing that Ryan Braun isn’t playing baseball anymore, with injuries popping up regularly, his season stats on the decline, and becoming a part-time player when healthy, the end is near.
Regardless of this being the end or not, Braun can and likely will reach several career statistical milestones during this season.
2,000 Career Hits
Currently: 1,933 Hits
At some point this season Ryan Braun will reach the 2,000 hit threshold, needing only 67 more base hits to get there. Braun has gotten at least 67 base hits in every season of his career.
Braun is currently third in Brewers history in hits, behind Hall of Famers Robin Yount (3,142 hits) and Paul Molitor (2,281). 3,000 career hits is going to be out of reach for Braun, but there’s a chance he can surpass Molitor on the Brewers list, but that’s only if he comes back in 2021. There’s no way Braun can get there this year.
Last year, Braun reached 67 hits on June 25th, and given his likely part-time role in 2020, it could at least take until then, perhaps longer for him to reach 2,000 career hits.
50 Career Triples
Currently: 48 Triples
There’s a chance Braun does not reach this “milestone” in 2020. At 36 years old, Braun is hardly the burner on the basepaths that he once was and he isn’t likely to try to stretch many doubles into triples.
Still, Braun had two triples in 2019, and has had at least one triple every season of his career. If the ball bounces the right way a couple of times, and he could end up with two triples this season and get to 50 in his career. He’s entrenched in third place in Brewers history in triples behind Yount and Molitor, unless Braun can somehow manage 39 more triples to end his career to surpass Molitor.
350 Career Home Runs
Currently: 344 Home Runs
Ryan Braun is already the Brewers franchise leader in home runs by a wide margin, having surpassed Yount’s 251 homers a long time ago. The next step, however, is reaching 350 career homers and he’s just six long balls shy of reaching that mark.
Again, Braun has hit at least six home runs in every season of his career, and is likely to reach the milestone sometime in April or May. Last year, Braun hit his sixth home run of the season on May 2nd.
Braun has an outside shot of reaching 400 career home runs, but it’s dependent on continuing his career beyond 2020.
1,200 Career RBIs
Currently: 1,128 RBIs
Braun is just 72 RBIs shy of 1,200 total in his career. There’s around a 50-50 chance Braun reaches that number this year. Braun had 75 RBIs last season, but had just 64 RBIs in 2018 and 52 in 2017. With Braun being in a part-time role, unless that gets expanded at some point, Braun could end up falling short of this total in 2020.
RBIs are really more based on opportunity and players getting on base in front of you more than a true measure of talent or skill. As long as Braun has runners on base in front of him, he’ll have a better chance to reach that career total.
Braun has always been a clutch hitter, and when it comes to big situations where the Brewers will need an RBI or two, Braun is as good a hitter as any to put up in that situation.
Currently second in Brewers franchise history in RBIs behind (you guessed it) Robin Yount, who has 1,406 RBIs, Braun is going to need a few more seasons to catch the Hall of Famer.
600 Career Walks
Currently: 579 Walks
Braun is 21 walks shy of 600 for his career. While not as exciting as some other statistics, Braun’s patience and ability to draw walks and get on base has been key to the Brewers success over the years.
He’s drawn 30+ walks over the past three seasons and remains likely to reach this milestone at some point in 2020.
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Ryan Braun has had a storied Brewers career, and it may be over soon. If it is, these could be some big career milestones for him to hit before he walks away from the game.