It takes a lot for the fantasy baseball community to go from utterly loving you, to completely detesting you. However, that has been the case with Milwaukee Brewers OF Ryan Braun over the past two seasons.
The five-time All-Star was one of the most popular players in fantasy sports over the last five years, but after a failed drug test, the Jewish Hammer was suspended for the final 65 games of the 2013 season. It ended Braun’s streak of playing in at least 150 games in five straight seasons and quickly left a black mark next to his name in the minds of thousands of fantasy fans.
The 30-year-old wasn’t himself last year anyway. Braun finished with a respectable .298 average, but his power numbers were severely lacking, as he hit just nine homers in 61 games. He ended up hitting a homer every 25 at-bats, which was embarrassing considering he hit a longball every 14.6 at-bats in 2012. It was far and away the worst power-hitting season of his prestigious career.
Braun was obviously dealing with a lot last year. He was surrounded by negative press and the looking pressure about a suspension proved to be a little too much down the outfielder down the stretch. The time away from baseball, though, has reportedly down wonders for Braun. He is apparently much more humble and simply ready to get back to work.
Braun won’t be a top-three pick this year on draft day, but he will still warrant a spot within the top-10 outfielders. If you are still skeptical about the veteran this fantasy season, look for him to earn your trust back in 2014.