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Ryan Braun: Corner Outfielder?

In his NL Central roundup today, Kevin Goldstein questions the playability of Ryan Braun's glove:

2005 first-round pick Ryan Braun hit a disappointing .274/.346/.438 at Brevard County, but has picked things up a bit in the Southern League, batting .359 in his last 10 games to bring his averages up to .278/.325/.514. He'll need to stay on a roll offensively, as based on his defensive reviews at third base, a move to a corner outfield slot could be coming soon.
I don't want to make too much of this, because Braun could work really hard at his defense and remain at third...he could hit a wall offensively and never be a major part of the Brewers future. You never know with a guy who has only played a few weeks above single-A. But...if Braun's future is in the outfield, it could have a major impact on the way the Brewers make some decisions.

First, we have an awful lot of outfield prospects. Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz could well both start next year; Gabe Gross, Dave Krynzel, and Tony Gwynn will all fight for a roster spot. In 2008, when we all expect Braun to be here, all of those guys may well be around, too. Having too many MLB-ready prospects for one position is a good problem to have, but it's not one you want to encourage, exactly.

What it tells me is that we need to give a good long look to Nelson Cruz in center field. He's only played a few games there this year, but that's more because the Sounds have had two other solid CFers than any deficiency on Cruz's part. A 2008-09 OF of Cruz, Hart, and Braun could be one of the best offensive outfields in the league.

What it also means is that third base isn't taken care of for the long run. We have Corey Koskie through next year, and of course Bill Hall could end up there at some point, but since Braun was drafted, I think the spot has been kept warm for him. If he's not going to claim that spot, it might be time to put "Third Baseman" on our wish list right next to "Catcher" when we considering trading Carlos Lee this month.