Posted by Steve
Updated All-Star balloting was released today and Braun is up to fourth in the voting. Call me crazy, but my reaction to this was: Why?
Ryan Braun is tenth in OPS among National League outfielders with 175 ABs and a 34th in on-base percentage. He’s currently rocking a woeful .316 OBP.
People are pointing to his hit totals and home run totals, but that is already factored into OPS. Using home runs and OPS as two separate arguments for Braun making the team is like saying, “Brady Clark had 184 hits, AND 149 singles!”
Braun has been a player with incredible power and not much else. His slugging % is off the charts, but OBP is widely considered to be at least 1.8 times as important as slugging. He isn’t even the most valuable offensive player on the team at this point, as that is more than likely Prince Fielder; Fielder is doing a solid job of getting on base even though his power numbers have been disappointing.
Outfielders who unquestionably deserve spots over Braun include: Nate McLouth, Ryan Ludwick, Pat Burrell, Matt Holiday and Jason Bay. Arguments could be made for Rowand, Church and Nady over him as well, and Adam Dunn’s offense has been better than Braun’s, except I’ll give Braun the nod over him for defense.
I just don’t understand the great movement going on to get Braun in the All-Star team. I know it’s nothing but a popularity contest anyway, as the top three in votes right now are Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome and Ken Griffey Jr (disgusting, isn’t it?). That doesn’t mean I have to blindly vote for Braun when I don’t think he deserves it, though.