Braun, who’s developed into one of the best hitters in the game, had another fantastic season for the Brewers. The 28-year-old finished the year with 38 doubles, 33 home runs and 111 RBI’s. Braun’s collection of extra base helped him post the NL’s highest OPS (.994) in 2011.
Beyond his accomplishments at the plate, Braun also got it done on the base paths for Milwaukee. Though he’s not necessarily thought of for his speed, Braun tallied 33 stolen bases last season while only being caught six times.
Since joining the bigs in 2007, Braun has now hit at least 25 home runs and has driven in at least 97 RBI’s a season. Braun also helped lead his club to the playoffs last season, where the Brewers were eventually bounced by the St. Louis Cardinals.
While Braun’s numbers speak for themselves, some were surprised that the trophy wasn’t handed to LA Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp came within percentage points of an NL Triple Crown, leading the league in home runs (39) and RBI’s (126).
Comparing him to Braun, Kemp had more homers, RBI’s, stolen bases and hits in 2011. Kemp was a home run away from joining the 40-40 club and earned his second Gold Glove as he was considered the NL’s top defensive center fielder.
Braun’s teammate Prince Fielder finished third in voting while Arizona’s Justin Upton and St. Louis’s Albert Pujols rounded out the top five. Players finishing in the top ten of voting were; Cincinnati’s Joey Voto, St. Louis’s Lance Berkman, Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki, and Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard.
Writers at FanSided MLB thought Kemp deserved the honor of 2011 NL Player of the Year. Braun and Fielder finished second and third in our end of the year voting, while Upton and Votto rounded out the top five.