Ryan Braun Will Play for Team USA in WBC

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2008

Ryan Braun will represent Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, slated to take place in March.

The WBC will serve as the second big stage for Ryan Braun to show his talents in six months. Braun was a major factor in the Brewers making the playoffs for the first time in 26 years in 2008.

Braun, who still has less than two years of big league experience, has already cemented his place among the best players in the game. Braun already has 71 career home runs despite playing in only 264 games.

Braun won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2007 and followed that up by finishing third in the 2008 National League MVP voting. Despite struggling with a rib injury for the final six weeks of the season, Braun finished with 83 extra base hits, including 37 home runs.

Braun should fit in nicely on such a grand stage like the World Baseball Classic. He loves the big, pressure-filled moments, and there is currently no bigger platform for worldwide baseball right now than the WBC.

Braun may not be the only Brewers player that will play in the WBC.

Pitcher Yovani Gallardo has been lobbying to pitch for Team Mexico. JJ Hardy's name has also come up as a potential member of Team USA. The Brewers top draft pick in the 2008 draft, Brett Lawrie, played for Team Canada in the Olympics and is expected to play in the WBC as well.

Ryan Braun is already hailed as a baseball hero in Milwaukee and has turned into one of the hottest young stars in the game. Success in the WBC would vault Braun into the national spotlight and make him a household name and one of the biggest stars in the game.