Thursday, April 28, 2011
Ryan Braun is Awesome
Brewers fans love Ryan Braun, even more so since he signed an extension last week that will keep him in Milwaukee through 2020. Brewers fans should love Ryan Braun considering the numbers he's put up thus far in his career, and the numbers he'll likely put up in years to come. Braun has not yet reached a full four years of Major League service, and his first four years in the Majors place him alongside greats such as Ted Williams and Albert Pujols. A .309 career batter, Braun already has 743 hits, 137 home runs, 441 RBI, and 66 SB, along with a .368 OBP and .559 SLG. Not bad, to say the least. On top of his tangibles, he's for all accounts a good clubhouse guy who respects his teammates and provides leadership for the team.
This spring, with confidence we've come to expect from him, Braun said, "I feel better than I've ever felt in my life. There's no doubt in my mind I'm better than I've ever been at baseball. I feel great." Some might dismiss this as arrogance or cockiness. Not me. He's confident. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Besides, as of now who can say he wasn't just telling the truth? With April nearly over Braun is batting .356 with a .454 OBP and .689 SLG, along with 23 R, 21 RBI, 3 SB, and a Major League leading 9 HR. His plate discipline is markedly improved, and I don't think any of us expected him to hit home runs at his current pace (thanks, Gabe Kapler!).
Ryan Braun is a special player. Say what you will about whether his recent contract extension was necessary or not, but he happily accepted his previous contract at a rate well below his current value, (he definitely could have waited out a larger payday) and the guy deserves to be paid similarly to his peers. I am extremely happy that he'll be on my favorite team for so long, and he's just the type of player and personality that just might make those final contract years worth his salary. Ryan Braun is awesome at baseball, and if he stays healthy may yet become one of the best.