As a part of the stacked 2005 MLB draft class, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is trying to separate himself from the rest, not to mention helping his team contend for a World Series title.
The 24-year-old slugger is putting up numbers most major-league All Stars would like to have at age 28. His line is ridiculous: .303 BA, 29 HR, and 81 RBI.
It was obviously expected that Braun would put up gaudy numbers; that's why the Brew Crew inked him to a long-term deal earlier this season. That said, Braun has surpassed all expectations and is in the top-10 in most NL batting categories.
It may be a bold statement, but if the Brewers win the hardest division in the NL, the NL Central, Braun should be the NL MVP. No disrespect to Lance Berkman, Chipper Jones, or my favorite player, Albert Pujols, but Braun has simply been on a tear this season.
Sure, Pujols, Jones, and Berkman all have a much higher BA, but Braun's power numbers are reminiscent of those when Ryan Howard took home the NL hardware just two years ago.
I was, unfortunately, watching each dreadful game of the Brewers most recent sweep, a four-game broom job over my beloved Cardinals. Braun rebounded from a horrendous first game to go nine for 13 in his last three games at Busch Stadium.
Although his 6'1" stature isn't overly intimidating, every time he steps into the batter's box there is a legitimate chance that he crushes one over the wall. Just three years ago, the talk in Miller Town was about the overweight chubster Prince Fielder, but now, it's undoubtedly turned to the power of the young left fielder.
It's apparent that CC Sabathia may overshadow Braun in some Brew Crew eyes, but on a whole, RB is their guy.
With that being said: Watch out for both the Brewers to make a run at the NL Central crown and for Braun to be very prominent in NL MVP talks.