Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/22/11
MILWAUKEE Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was named the National League's Most Valuable Player on Tuesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America.Braun earned 388 points, including 20 of 32 possible first-place votes, to beat out the Dodgers' Matt Kemp (332) and teammate Prince Fielder (229) for the award. He is the third Brewers player to win the award, joining Rollie Fingers (1981) and Robin Yount (1982, '89).Braun, 28, took home the honors after putting together one of the most complete seasons in recent history. He led the league with a .597 slugging percentage and .994 OPS, finishing second with a .332 batting average. He hit 33 home runs and drove in 111 runs and stole 31 bases, becoming just the second player in franchise history to record a 30-30 season.During the playoffs, Braun led the team with a .405 average and 10 RBI as the Brewers advanced to the NLCS, losing to the Cardinals in Game 6. His season also included a team-record fourth consecutive All-Star Game honor, as he became the overall top vote-getter among National League players. He was unable to participate in the game, however, as he was recovering from a calf injury that held him out of 12 games during the course of the season.Long known for having a flair for the dramatic, Braun hit the home run that essentially clinched the team's first division title in 29 years, launching a three-run shot that broke a 1-1 tie against the Marlins on Sept. 23.He was the Brewers' first-round draft pick in 2005, selected fifth overall out of the University of Miami. He signed quickly and went right to work in the Brewers' minor league system, hitting .341 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 10 games with Rookie League Helena.That performance earned Braun a promotion to Class A West Virginia, where he played 37 games and finished the season hitting .355 with eight homers, 35 RBI, a .396 slugging percentage and a 1.041 OPS.In 2006, Braun opened with high Class A Brevard County, and though he hit just .274, he earned a promotion to Class AA Huntsville at midseason. He returned to form with 15 homers, 19 doubles, 40 RBI and a .303 average.Many thought Braun would be the Brewers' opening day third baseman in 2007, but he instead started the season with Class AAA Nashville with the assignment of improving his defense. In 34 games with the Sounds, Braun hit .342 with 10 home runs and 22 RBI and with the Brewers' slumping offensively, Braun got the call to the majors on May 25.Batting second in the lineup, Braun went 1-for-4 for 2 RBI in his major league debut, sparking a season in which he hit .324 with 34 home runs, 26 doubles and 97 RBI, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award.
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