Rookie Card Year: 2005
Investment Rating: 5.0 (Average)
Ryan Braun is an intelligent and gifted athlete who defines the essence of what it means to be an All-American. A product of the University of Miami, he attended the school on an academic scholarship having earned straight 'A's in high school with the exception of a single 'B' in AP Chemistry. Braun turned down similar offers from Stanford and Cal-Berkley. He went on to become a Golden Spikes finalist and the NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2005. Braun was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers that same year as the fifth overall pick in MLB's Amateur Draft. He progressed quickly through the Brewers' farm system before making his MLB debut in 2007. Braun went on to have one of the most dominant rookie years in the history of the game, smashing club records in many categories. So impressive were his stats that he was named the National League Rookie of the Year. Ryan Braun cards and memorabilia were also strong sellers, at least until he was suspended in 2013 in connection with performance enhancing drugs.
Braun is a homegrown talent the small-market Brewers have come to rely on to be competitive. Braun possesses all the skills and attributes that define a five-tool player. Already a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Braun's ability to hit for power and average while still maintaining strong marks in OBS and slugging percentage make him a valuable asset for any team. Baseball analysts have taken note of his talents and was recently named one of baseball's Top 50 current players.
Braun has just five rookie cards, which is somewhat unusual for a player in this era. All come from products issued in 2005. His cards, particularly those with high professional grades, see solid demand. Game-used bats and autographed items are also at the top of speculators' lists of worthwhile investments for the young Braun.
While the future for Ryan Braun cards was good, his connection with PEDs will cause irreparable harm to some, limiting his overall potential even if he does comeback clean and strong.
Ryan Braun Rookie Card Checklist
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