Can Ryan Braun Continue His MVP Performance?
Can Ryan Braun return to his old form?
By now everyone knows that Ryan Braun was busted deep enough that he couldn’t lawyer his way out of the suspension this time. He plead guilty and took his year ending suspension in the 2013 season. Today he acknowledged he made some horrible statements. He said all the right things, for the money he makes he can afford the best PR coaches to tell him exactly what to say. Extra points for him having dinner with the collector that he roasted publicly as being irresponsible and possibly having ulterior motives.
Can he return to his MVP form knowing he can’t use PED’s and that everyone is now watching him?
He will be 30 next year so age shouldn’t be a problem as long as he stays in shape. But lots of insiders say that the mental boost from being on PED’s is more important than any extra strength gained. Using PED’s can give a hitter extra confidence thinking he now has an advantage over the pitcher that he didn’t have before.
Look what it did for Melky Cabrera in 2012. IN his first ever all-star year he was hitting.346 before getting busted. That’s 62 points higher than his career average of .284. In 2013 at age 28 he regressed back to .279 which was right around his career average.
Braun has been solid ever since 2007 when he was Rookie of the Year. Never finishing out of the top 15 for MVP, winning one in 2011, and finishing 2nd in 2012.
Having said that what will his performance look like in 2014?
I’m thinking the constant scrutiny and pressure will hurt his numbers. The long layoff won’t help either. I’m saying 30 point drop under his career average of .312 and a drop from his 2012 career high 41 homers.
Braun 2014 – 87 runs scored, 31 homers, 95 rbi, .282 avg with a .350 obp. Still not bad but far below what we have been accustomed to.