In the past two years we have all heard about Ryan Braun becoming the first player to successfully win an appeal for a positive drug test. We all know about his PED suspension, the lying, the apologies and a newfound nerve issue problem in his thumb that causes numbness and in turn makes gripping a bat, well, difficult. Ryan Braun continues to slide down fantasy baseball rankings as owners run away from the injury concerns and his new seemingly bad reputation amongst baseball fans. But the fascinating thing about fantasy baseball is that all you should care about is his stats and talented players will consistently outperform others because they are just that good. This is why you should believe in Ryan Braun because hitting a baseball just comes natural to him. He was born with it, ever since Ryan Braun’s freshman season in college (where he won his teams triple crown hitting .364 with 17 home runs and 76 rbis) he has made hitting look easy.
Ryan Braun tore through the minor leagues posting "Bonds-like" stat lines and showing the elite bat to ball skills that made him the 5th overall pick in the 2005 MLB player draft. Braun continued to mash the cover off the ball during his rookie year in the major leagues and has never looked back. But now all of a sudden everyone wants to act like the guy can’t hit a baseball or that his success over the previous decade was all PED driven. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t, but im telling you that this guy can flat out put the barrel of the bat on the ball. This ability alone is at such an elite level and done so with such elite power and drive that fantasy owners should try to scoop him up in every league they are in. Ryan Braun is a top five overall player in all fantasy leagues. Here is a player comparison for you.
Player A) .319 BA, 5 HR, 14 R, 13 RBI, 2 SB
Player B) .307 BA, 5 HR, 13 R, 12 RBI, 1 SB
Player C) .265 BA, 1 HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, 3 SB
Player D) .292 BA, 5 HR, 15 R, 13 RBI, 2 SB
Three of these players get all the fan talk about being the best fantasy outfielders while the fourth is generally left out and labeled as an "injury risk". Player A is Mike Trout, Player B is Carlos Gomez, Player C is Andrew McCutchen and Player D is Ryan Braun. Yes, Ryan Braun is putting up very similar, if not better numbers than almost every other outfielder in baseball including the great Mike Trout.
Ryan Braun is on pace to hit 45 home runs, score 135 runs, knock in 117 RBIs and he will even throw in his projected 18 steals just because he knows you want him to (he is just a nice guy like that). He is one of the rare truly great power-speed options in baseball. He is a Hall of Famer caliber player with elite level talents that make him one of the best overall players in baseball. I am sure he will have his ups and downs throughout the season but what player doesn’t? The end results will be a guy you will be glad to own who will give you 30 home runs, 100 runs/rbis and even 15-20 steals. That’s a top 5 player in all fantasy formats and he can be had for a much lower price than that, making him baseballs biggest bargain.
*Follow me on twitter @KylanJE where I will answer all of your questions and you can suggest topics for the next faketeams fanpost