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How Good Will Ryan Braun Be in 2008?

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The move of Brewers'ROY 3B Ryan Braun to LF following the signing of CF Mike Cameron got me to thinking what could be expected of Ryan Braun if he exactly matched last season's production of 34 HRs, 97 RBI and 14 SB. To do so, I applied my ranking method to just the 2007 stats. To my slight surprise given he had just 452 ABs, he finished as the 6th best player. (FWIW, in a 4x4 mixed league format, he finished 5th ahead of SS Jimmy Rollins.)

The bigger question is whether or not a full season's worth of ABs will increase his production proportionately. The main argument against would be his weak walk rate combined with a weak contact rate of 75%. In those 452 Abs, he walked a mere 29 times while striking out 112 times.

In his favor is the fact he maintained his AVG and SLG in each month of the season. His OPS dipped to .908 in August only to rebound to .998 in September. His OPS was 1.150 and 1.069 in June and July respectively. While his walk rate was halved in the last two months of the season, his K's remained steady.

The key to an even better performance 2008 will be a return to the walk rates he had in the first two full months of his rookie season. If you believe, Ryan Braun is an easy Top 10 pick.

You have the 6th pick in your snake draft. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?"

Rank Player +/- Rank Player +/- Rank Player +/-
1 Rodriguez Alex   16 Hunter Torii   31 Sizemore Grady  
2 Wright David   17 Rowand Aaron   32 Jeter Derek  
3 Holliday Matt   18 Upton B.J.   33 Berkman Lance  
4 Ramirez Hanley   19 Soriano Alfonso   34 Martin Russell  
5 Rollins Jimmy   20 Beltran Carlos   35 Cano Robinson  
6 Braun Ryan   21 Guillen Carlos   36 Suzuki Ichiro  
7 Ordonez Magglio   22 Hart Corey   37 Beltre Adrian  
8 Lee Carlos   23 Byrnes Eric   38 Fielder Prince  
9 Utley Chase   24 Guerrero Vladimir   39 Dunn Adam  
10 Jones Chipper   25 Crawford Carl   40 Matsui Hideki  
11 Markakis Nick   26 Pujols Albert   41 Atkins Garrett  
12 Phillips Brandon   27 Tulowitzki Troy   42 Cabrera Orlando  
13 Granderson Curtis   28 Cabrera Miguel   43 Posada Jorge  
14 Ortiz David   29 Lee Derrek   44 Guillen Jose  
15 Rios Alexis   30 Abreu Bobby   45 Francoeur Jeff