Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Bran had a phenomenal year in 2012 and should be locked in for the Silver Slugger Award, which is given to the best offensive player at each position.
Braun led all National League left fielders in batting average (.319), hits (191), home runs (41), runs batted in (112), runs scored (108), on-base percentage (.391), slugging percentage (.595), and OPS (.987). Braun also ranked third in games played (154), plate appearances (598), doubles (36), and stolen bases (30).
Needless to say, if Braun does not win the award then something is seriously wrong with the system. The 28-year-old California native has won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards prior to this season, which means 2012 will make it is his fifth.
A fifth award will tie Barry Bonds’ record for most consecutive Silver Slugger Awards for an outfielder in both the National and American League. However, Braun will need many more seasons that are successful to catch up to Bonds’ record for most Silver Slugger Awards over a career, which currently sits at 12. Also, the record for most consecutive Silver Slugger Awards at any position goes to catcher Mike Piazza, who won 10 in a row from 1993-2002.
Braun would certainly be thrilled to be awarded a fifth consecutive Silver Slugger, but he much rather score a second consecutive Most Valuable Player Award. The reigning MVP will be going up against some stiff competition in San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Braun’s off-season troubles last year will certainly have an implication in the voting process, as many members of the Baseball Writers Association of America have undoubtedly considered that information before they cast their vote. Braun’s overall offensive numbers are better than that of Posey and Molina; however, great defensive catchers who are also outstanding at the plate are hard to come by.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.