Ryan Braun is the National League’s MVP for 2011. The baseball writers got the MVPs right this year. Braun’s .332 BA, .397 OBP, and 33 HR’s got Braun past the Dodger’s Matt Kemp in the voting. Braun’s MVP season also helped the Brewer’s get to the playoffs. The one-two punch of Braun, and teammate Prince Fielder, gave Milwaukee fans something to be excited about. Fielder placed third in the NL MVP voting. Interesting how a small market team with the 16th highest payroll out of 30 teams fields two MVP candidates. The other teams to field multiple top ten MVP candidates in 2011: the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Money doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston have the top three highest payrolls in that order. St. Louis comes in at 12.
Aside from the financial story, this may just be Braun’s first of multiple MVP’s. He can put this award on the shelf next to his 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Award. What the future may hold for Braun and his Brew-crew time will only tell.
Congrats to Ryan Braun. Let’s see what 2012 brings.
Statistical data from baseball-reference.com and espn.go.com