Stanford’s 1B/OF Brian Ragira looks like a rising star.
Ryan Braun, who celebrated his 29th birthday Saturday, has had an… err… interesting year.
Prior to the season, he got caught doing PEDs and faced a 50-game suspension that was going to really punch a hole in is Fantasy value.
Owners that grabbed him in the fourth, fifth or sixth round wound up getting a serious steal when Braun’s suspension was overturned on a freaking technicality, allowing him to play a full season.
Of course, the question remained: how much did PEDs fuel his career up to that point, including his 2011 MVP performance, and how much would his game slip now that he was clean?
Obviously the answer is none, as he finished second to Buster Posey in the NL MVP race and basically was just as good this year as last year – even though his main protection, Prince Fielder, was no longer in Sausage City. On the flip side, the emergence of Norichika Aoki at the top of the lineup helped Braun keep his RBI count up.
Braun topped 40 homers for the first time, set a career high in walks and enjoyed his second straight 30-30 campaign. He become just the 11th player ever to have a 40-homer, 30-steal season. Based on WAR, he had his best season ever this year.
He led the NL in homers, runs, total bases and OPS, yet didn’t get within a sniff of Posey for the hardware. Obviously, last year’s tainted MVP and then escape from justice entered into the equation here.
- It sounds like you can cross the Seattle Mariners off the list of teams that will go after Josh Hamilton. Seattle desperately needs to add offense – and it is an organizational goal this winter – but we guess Hambone is too rich for the Mariners’ blood. Milwaukee is considered a serious player, and Philadelphia, Baltimore and Atlanta are apparently also in the mix. Boston has money to spend, so don’t count it out either.
- Looking ahead to the 2013 MLB draft, keep your eyes on Stanford first baseman/outfielder Brian Ragira as he could go as high as the second round. There’s raw untapped power potential here and while his hands and power in high school had him looking like an outfielder, now it’s believed his speed with keep him at first base, which will cap his value somewhat. The bat will play, but his glove has been questioned, and at first base that will less of a factor.
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