Ryan Braun is off to a torrid start as we delve into the 2011 season.
He is putting up numbers that some people weren't sure we'd ever see again, as pitchers in recent years have regained dominance as the steroid-era in baseball dwindled to an end.
With a slash line of .372/.466/.721, Braun is defying the odds and putting himself in position to be the front-runner for the NL MVP award.
His nine home runs lead all of MLB and his 21 RBI trail only the 23 RBI by teammate Prince Fielder. Braun is quickly proving he may be the first player to have a legitimate shot at the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat way back in 1967.
Braun, currently in his fifth season, has averaged 30-plus home runs and 100-plus RBI in his four year career. The 2007 NL Rookie of the Year showed flashes of greatness from the beginning, slugging 34 home runs in only 113 games as a rookie.
Now, fresh-off signing a $105-million contract extension with the Brewers that will keep him in Milwaukee through the 2020 season, Braun appears to be taking his greatness to the next level.
In many cases, it's easy to write-off a quick or slow start to the season. Not with Ryan Braun, and especially not this season. If anything, we should expect his numbers to improve way before they take a nosedive.
Barring an injury, it's a forgone conclusion that Ryan Braun will join Robin Yount (1982, 89) and Rollie Fingers (1981) on the list of Milwaukee Brewers MVP's, and the first since the team joined the NL back in 1994.
Here is why.