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Today In Brewer History: Ryan Braun Starts Winning Awards

Ryan Braun's ability to play left field is questioned at times, but he's clearly better out there than he was at third base.
Ryan Braun's ability to play left field is questioned at times, but he's clearly better out there than he was at third base.

On this day in 2007, Ryan Braun won his first major award as a Brewer. The first-year third baseman was named first on 17 of 32 ballots en route to being named the NL Rookie of the Year.

On offense, there was no doubt that Braun was the league's top newcomer. He hit .324/.370/.634 with 34 home runs despite not making his major league debut until May 27. His .634 slugging percentage led the National League and he fell just short of driving in 100 runs (finishing with 97) despite playing in just 113 games.

Braun, however, had serious negative value on defense. His 2007 fielding percentage was .895, meaning he committed an error slightly more than once every ten opportunities. B-Ref estimates that Braun was worth five wins at the plate over the course of the season, but negated 3.5 of them in the field. He was moved to left field before the 2008 season.

In the end award voters chose offense over defense, but just barely. Braun edged out Rockies shortstop Troy Tulotwitzki by just two points in the voting, 128-126.

Happy birthday today to Racine native Ed Killian, who would have turned 135. Killian played eight major league seasons between 1903-1910, seven of them as a member of the Tigers.